Truckers issue ultimatum to government after militants kill four drivers in Kashmir, demand adequate security or threaten to avoid Valley

In a letter sent to Home Minister Amit Shah, the All India Motor Transport Congress demanded that the trucks which transport goods and services to the Valley be provided security to prevent any attack on them.

Kangkan Acharyya October 30, 2019 14:17:53 IST
Truckers issue ultimatum to government after militants kill four drivers in Kashmir, demand adequate security or threaten to avoid Valley
  • In a letter sent to Home Minister Amit Shah the All India Motor Transport Congress demanded that the trucks which transport goods and services to the Valley be provided security to prevent any attack on them.

  • The transport companies seek the earliest intervention from the government to make Kashmir safe for truckers or else would cease to operate in the newly formed Union Territory very soon.

  • The recent attacks on the trucks have heightened the panic among the truckers and transport companies.

Terrified after rising fatal attacks on truck drivers by militants in Kashmir recently, transporters across India have threatened to stop operations in the Valley if adequate security is not provided by the government. The latest attack on truck drivers came on Monday when a driver from Udhampur was allegedly shot dead by militants in Bijbehara in Anantnag while two others were saved by the cops.

In a statement, the All India Motor Transport Congress threatened that soon the trucks would stop from transporting goods to Kashmir thereby ceasing supply of essential goods to the Valley if security is not provided to the truckers.

Truckers issue ultimatum to government after militants kill four drivers in Kashmir demand adequate security or threaten to avoid Valley

Representational image. Getty
images

The move comes after militants killed a non-local trucker in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday taking the number of truckers killed in the Valley to four. The series of attacks on truckers began on 14 October after a truck driver named Sharief Khan was killed by militants in Shopian.

Soon after the first attack on trucker, the transport companies came up with an appeal to the government seeking convoy escort to the trucks. But till now no such provision has been made.

“The first incident of the attack was read as a stray one. But now it has become a trend. We now need security to operate in Kashmir,” says a member of the body.

In a letter sent to Home Minister Amit Shah, the All India Motor Transport Congress demanded that the trucks which transport goods and services to the Valley be provided security to prevent any attack on them.

“In case the government does not take needful steps for the security of the truckers and drivers then we will have no option but to decide and give a call to our members not to send trucks to Kashmir,” said the letter.

Significantly, thousands of trucks go to the Valley every day carrying essential goods from various parts of the country. Foodgrains, dairy products, clothes and medicines constitute a major chunk of the consignments to Kashmir.

“The truckers are the people who put their lives at risk to supply essential goods and help the people living in the restive state to lead their lives. But if the truckers themselves are killed in the Valley then how would people fulfil their needs,” says All India Motor Transport Congress secretary-general Navin Gupta.

Soon after the first incident, many transport companies spiked freight charges as not many truckers were willing to go to Kashmir.

Rajkumar Jaiswal, a truck owner in Jaipur who transports dairy products for Indian Army jawans deployed in Kashmir said that the killings have led to fewer truckers wanting to visit apple orchards.

“Anyone who does it, does it for a good amount of money,” Jaiswal told Firstpost adding that many truckers are not willing to go the disturbed areas like Shopian even if the promise of a good return is made.

Soon after the first incident, the transport association demanded adequate security cover from the government. But since then three other truck drivers were killed within the next two weeks amid lack of adequate security.

The recent attacks on the trucks have heightened the panic among the truckers and transport companies.

“We request and demand that the government should take special steps for the security of truckers in hostile regions like Kashmir. Adequate security should be provided to them and there should be provision to escort a convoy of trucks to their destinations,” said Kultaran Singh Atwal, chairman of the organisation.

“In case of any unfortunate incident then the government must also declare for government jobs for their families and adequate compensation, as these drivers and truckers are the sole bread earners in most of the cases,” he said.

“In restive regions, there is a provision to escort a convoy of trucks to their destinations. This measure should be introduced in Kashmir also,” said Gupta.

He also said that mere convoy escort is not enough because there are not many parking and eating facilities in Kashmir.

“The trucks are not allowed to park on the National Highway. On the other hand, there is not enough parking space near the highway. The government should ensure that there is adequate safe parking space and eateries for truckers every 50 kilometres,” he said.

The transport companies seek the earliest intervention from the government to make Kashmir safe for truckers or else would cease to operate in the newly formed Union Territory very soon.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

'Litany of falsehoods': India slams Pakistan after Imran Khan rakes up Jammu and Kashmir issue at UNGA
India

'Litany of falsehoods': India slams Pakistan after Imran Khan rakes up Jammu and Kashmir issue at UNGA

The First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN, Mijito Vinito, walked out of the general assembly hall when Imran Khan started his diatribe about India

Militant killed in encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama; identity being ascertained, says police
India

Militant killed in encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama; identity being ascertained, says police

A police official said security forces, acting on specific information about the presence of militants in Awantipora's Samboora, had launched a cordon and search operation

Pulwama-type attack averted in Jammu and Kashmir, 52 kilograms of explosives recovered near highway, says Indian Army
India

Pulwama-type attack averted in Jammu and Kashmir, 52 kilograms of explosives recovered near highway, says Indian Army

The explosives were found in a Syntex water tank at Gadikal's Karewa area during a search operation around 8 am