The separatists in Kashmir have softened their protest calendars following feedback from different stakeholders who have showed unhappiness with the agitation, as it has badly hit the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. In the latest lockdown week, which continues up to Thursday, the separatists have decided to allow normal activities every day from 5 pm to 7 am. The separatists were forced to reconsider their continued shutdown plans after complaints emerged from various quarters that the 100 days’ hartal has not yielded any desired result. Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked through local newspapers the views of all stakeholders in Kashmir regarding the continuation of the shutdown.
The unified separatist leadership led by Geelani sought suggestions from traders, transporters, civil society members, doctors, journalists and the Bar Association on how to go forward with the current agitation. There are many stakeholders who believe that a continued shutdown will only tire people apart from hurting the economy.
In the last 100 days, all educational institutions, banks and business establishments have remained closed. Tourism has touched a new low and sectors like horticulture and handicrafts have also received a huge blow. According to the business community, so far the losses amount to around Rs 15,000 crore.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has renewed her appeal to the people and separatists to allow her a peaceful atmosphere so that she could talk with all stakeholders. She has said that she will see to it that the Central government starts serious talks for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.