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Archive for January, 2017

It took 25 years, 1,800 days of hartals and Rs two lakh crore financial loss for moderate separatists to wake up and realise that the frequent shutdowns in the Kashmir valley are the gross human rights violation.
In fact, the Kashmir Valley has become the hartal capital of India with 1,813 shutdowns observed in the last 25 years of turmoil (since 1990) mostly on the call of the separatists and militants.
The highest number of hartals was observed in 1991 when Kashmir remained shut for 207 days. The lowest number of hartals was observed in 2007 when Kashmir remained shut for 13 days. In ‘azadi groundswell’ of 2010, Kashmir remained shut for 132 days. Similarly, Kashmir observed shutdown for 33 days during the Amarnath land row in 2008.
Frequent hartals have dealt a crippling blow to the fledgling Kashmir’s economy of the state with financial losses pegged at Rs two lakh crore in the last 25 years.
“We have suffered loss of Rs two trillion due to hartals and curfews. We have had more than 1,900 days of hartals and curfews. Of which around 60 to 65 percent were strikes and rest curfews. We are nearing 2000 days of hartals and curfews. Each day of hartal and curfew costs us Rs 100 crore,” said Shakeel Qalandar, senior member of Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS), a civil society group.
Waking up to the rampant hartals, moderate separatists are now openly voicing concern over the old and outdated ways and methods of agitation.
“Article 3 of universal declaration of human rights and article 6 of international covenant on civil and political rights say that everyone has right to life irrespective of caste, creed, colour, religion and language. When there are frequent strike calls, aren’t we depriving people from earning livelihood. And that is a violation to right to life”, said Hilal Ahmad War, chairman of Peoples Political Party (PPP), a constituent of moderate Hurriyat Conference.
However, the hardliners are unfazed saying the hartals are the only way to lodge protest against the gross human rights violation and other atrocities.
“It (hartal) is a compulsion for us. They (government) have not left any option for us other than hartal to raise our voice. If we hit streets they use force to disperse us. Plus they keep us under house arrest and not allow us to move. In such circumstances, the hartals are the only option left with us for lodging protest”, said Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of Syed Ali Shah Geelani led hard-line Hurriyat Conference.
Year wise number of hartals observed in Kashmir since the onset of militancy in 1990.
Around 198 hartals took place in 1990 followed by 207 in 1991, 148 in 1992, 139 in 1993, 97 in 1994, 88 in 1995, 95 in 1996, 72 in 1997, 25 in 1998, 24 in 1999, 41 in 2000, 122 in 2001, 76 in 2002, 58 in 2003, 25 in 2004, 18 in 2005, 26 in 2006, 13 in 2007, 33 in 2008, 35 in 2009, 132 in 2010, 22 in 2011, 19 in 2012, 37 in 2013, 41 in 2014 .
This if translated into economical component will definitely cost dearly.

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