Baltal Pony and tent owners decide to ‘wind up their business’

KL Report

SRINAGAR

A day after violent clashes at Baltal Base Camp between locals and Bhandarawalas, hundreds of pony, tent and Dhandi owners have started fleeing from the camp and are unwilling to manage their business there.

Sources told CNS that majority of the tent and pony owners have decided to close down their business at Baltal after they suffered heavy losses during Friday clashes. Sources added that in a bid to persuade tent and pony owners to continue their business, an important meeting was held at Baltal that was presided by Forest Minister Mian Altaf. Reports said that the representatives of the pony, tent and Dhandi owners and traders refused to carry on their business.

“We don’t want to continue our business here. During the meeting the government had assured that it will compensate the losses that we incurred but we are not feeling safe here,” a tent owner said.

Reports said that there are some pony and tent owners who want to continue their business at Baltal but their colleagues who have decided to close down their business have reportedly threatened them of dire consequences in case they don’t wind up their business with two days.

Reports said that scores of Yatris Saturday failed to arrange mules and ponies for themselves. Scores of Yatris were seen moving towards the Cave on foot.

Meanwhile, sources said that government is mulling to entrust the job of security for Yatra to Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police and soon the CRPF may be called back from the Base Camp. Sources said that Additional Director General Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police S M Sahai visited Baltal and participated in an important meeting that was attended by the officials of SASB, CRPF and district administration officials.

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