PDP protests shortages in Kashmir

Srinagar, Jan 5 (IANS) Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) Saturday staged a protest march here against the shortages of electricity, cooking gas, other essentials items and the alleged harassment of youths by the police in the Kashmir Valley.

Mehbooba Mufti, president of the PDP, led a large march of leaders and workers from the party headquarters to Regal Chowk area in the city. The marchers carried placards against shortages of essential items and electricity across the Kashmir Valley.

The placards said that the harassment of the youths by the police must be stopped.

Police and paramilitary central reserve police force (CRPF) had been deployed in strength in the area, but no attempt was made to stop the marchers.

Addressing the rally, Mehbooba Mufti said: "The chief minister and his government are talking of AFSPA (the Armed Forces Special Powers Act) revocation, but instead of that happening, more and more youths are being arrested by the police in different parts of the Kashmir Valley."

"In 2008 elections, the National Conference promised free electricity to the people. Instead, the tariff has been increased and the supply is missing. Cooking gas cylinder is being sold for Rupees one thousand. The government promised government jobs to those who have passed 8th standard examination, but instead 300 retired people have been re-engaged to burden the state exchequer," she said.

The protestors dispersed peacefully after Mehbooba Mufti's speech.