Tourists suffer hardship due to separatists’ shutdown call

April 29th, 2009 - 10:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, April 29 (ANI): Separatists’ shut down call in Kashmir has caused a lot of hardship to tourists visiting the valley from across the county and abroad here.

Apprehending trouble and ire of the separatist groups, almost all the shops and other commercial establishments in the market including restaurants have downed their shutters.

Tourists, in absence of proper and affordable modes of transport, have been deprived of visiting famous tourist spots in the city and other places in the valley.

Apart from causing considerable losses to the business community, the shutdown call by the separatists has spoilt the holiday spirit of the tourists.

Abdul Majeed, a tourist from Jammu, had been stranded in the city since morning, as he had no transport to return home.

“Common people have to face a lot of problems to face. Even we have come from a far off place and we couldn’t go back as there was no transport available. Eventually, we have to roam on the streets,” said Abdul Majeed, a tourist from Jammu.Heavy security deployment dotted roads on Srinagar with shops remaining closed and low turnout of people seen in the open.

Shop owners believe that these shutdowns in this period will create a negative impact on tourism, as tourists who spend ample amount to visit the valley, will stop coming to Kashmir.

The 50-hour general call for shut down has been given by Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in protest of the General Elections to be held here on Thursday (April 30). It has renewed tension after a relative calm for long.

The closure time started on Tuesday evening at six o’ clock.

Meanwhile, security forces have been deployed in large numbers to prevent any attempt to disrupt election on Thursday through protests.

Thus most of the tourists on Wednesday (April 29) were either confined to their hotel rooms or stranded elsewhere such as in the Dal Lake periphery.

Last year, agitation over the Amarnath land transfer issue had also badly effected the tourist arrival and people associated with the industry suffered heavy losses.

“This is the tourist season and outsiders come here with a plan for sight seeing. If there is a shut down, they cannot visit the famous gardens. They have to face a lot of problems and because of which they will not come back again to the city here,” said Adil Nasir, owner of a handicrafts and novelties shop.

Kashmir is scheduled to undergo Lok Sabha elections in three phases on April 30, followed by May 7 and 13. (ANI)

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