KL NEWS NETWORK
Condemning the “unwarranted and excessive” use of force on residents of Khrew over the on-going dispute of cement-ferrying truckers, National Conference leader from Pampore Yawar Masoodi Monday demanded immediate withdrawal of police force and restrictions, allowing the Zaffron Truck Union to function.
In an official statement, Yawar called for an amicable settlement of the dispute. He demanded release of all those arrested by police and compensation to the injured. In the statement, NC leader warned that statement administration will be “totally responsible” for any untoward incident if restrictions are not withdrawn immediately.
He said that entire area with population of more than 10,000 has been put under curfew from last three days. “A reign of terror has been unleashed and people are not allowed to move out of their houses,” he said in a statement.
“As already reported by media the use of force by police has left dozens of men and women injured and has also disabled four youths for the rest of their life. The tear gas shells and pellets have hit eyes of two youth and resulted in permanent loss of their eyesight making it necessary to shift the injured to Delhi for specialized treatment.”
He added that Zaffron Truck Union Khrew has been transporting cement for last more than four decades and continued to do so till police intervention. “The administration for its vested interests is adamant on establishment of another Truck Union, is using all force to transport cement through non-local trucks and more than one thousand trucks affiliated with Zaffron Truck Union Khrew are not being allowed to transport cement by the police from last two months pushing the truck owners and their families to starvation,” he alleged.
The statement said that right of Union to transport cement from the factories set up on land of truck owners was not a concession but compensation for loss of livelihood due to cement industry in the area.
“The residents because of the industrial activity have not only lost the agricultural land but are exposed to serious health hazards,” the statement read.
“If the locals don’t get right to earn livelihood by transporting cement from the cement factories, they would be justified in claiming compensation for loss of livelihood, health hazard and exploitation of resources due to establishment of cement factories on the principle of polluter to pay.”