Continuous shutdown hits tourism sector in Kashmir

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Yousmarg (Jammu and Kashmir), July 20 (ANI): The continuous shutdown has adversely affected scores of poor pony owners in Yousmarg, a tourist spot in the valley.

These pony owners used to earn their livelihood by taking the tourists to the hills of Yousmarg.

But with the continuous demonstrations and curfews, there has been a decrease in the number of tourist inflow, which has affected tourism and allied trade.

Many pony owners believe that if the situation continues like this then they might have to sell off their ponies to support their families.

"We are almost 500 to 600 pony owners. Due to the shutdown everything has come to a standstill. Now we are in a situation that to support our families we may even have sell off our horses," said Gulzar Ahmad, a pony owner.

"The 5,000 families of 500 pony owners are in a miserable condition. But these leaders would only think about themselves and not of us," he added.

The pony owners further said the leaders do not understand the pain of poor men and only think about their own benefits.

"Shutdown has affected our business badly and we all are not happy with ongoing shutdowns. These rich leaders only know how to create problems for poor people like us," said Gulam Mohi-u-din Wani, a pony owner.

The separatist Hurriyat Conference announced a nine-day protest programme on July 16 against the atrocities being committed on Kashmiris by the troops.

The programme includes a complete shutdown, protests by Government employees and sit-ins to be observed by people across Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday and Thursday. (ANI)

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