Srinagar shutdown taking a toll on houseboat business

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Srinagar, June 6 (ANI): As the protests over the rape and killing of two Muslim women continue in Srinagar, houseboat owners are increasingly finding it difficult to run their businesses.

Locals associated with the tourism industry eagerly await for the months of May-June, but they have been forced to sit idle this year because there is no business due to shutdown.

The houseboat owners are among the worst hit with no tourists arriving in the valley.

"The tourists have stopped coming here due to the strike. It has become extremely difficult for us to make both ends meet. I had taken a loan from the government. I will have to sell my houseboat to repay the loan. I do not have any money," said Pir Gulam Nabi, houseboat owner.

Another houseboat owner echoed similar sentiments.

"A lot of house boat owners have stopped sending their children to school. They are not able to pay their fees. They are even finding it difficult to feed their family," said Manzoor Ahmad, houseboat owner.

Earlier, local residents alleged that two women had been abducted, raped and killed by security forces on Friday in Shopian town of Srinagar.

However, authorities denied the killing, saying the women had drowned in a stream.

Jammu and Kashmir's chief minister Omar Abdullah had ordered a judicial inquiry into the deaths. (ANI)

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