Drivers and fruit traders protest in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jul 31 (UNI) Fruit traders and drivers, plying on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, today took to streets in the Kashmir valley protesting against the alleged beating up of their co-workers at Jammu and Udhampur.

Hundreds of Sumo drivers took to streets at historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, alleging five of their co-workers and a tempo driver were beaten up by hindu fundamentalists at Udhampur yesterday.

They alleged police failed to take any action against them when they were damaging their vehicles and beating them with lathis.

Raising slogans against the government and hindu fundamentalist, they demanded protection to drivers and Kashmiri passengers travelling on the highway.

They later dispersed peacefully after marching through different streets in the civil lines.

Meanwhile, a report from Baramulla said hundred of fruit traders took to streets at apple township of Sopore today, alleging that government had failed to provide protection to trucks carrying fruits to other mandis of the country via Jammu.

They said fruits were damaged due to non availability of trucks as driver refuse to ply on the highway because of threat by hindu fundamentalists.

They further alleged that fruits in several trucks remained stranded at different places on the highway.

Meanwhile, a number of local newspapers are also facing shortage of newsprint as trucks carrying the news print remained stranded at Lakhanpore and other places.

However, there was no shortage of vegetables and other essential commodities because of enough local production during this period of the year.

Officials also said there was enough stock of petroleum products available in the valley.

UNI BAS ASM SP VC1500

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