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Indian crackdown kills fresh produce market in Kashmir

Women walk with a cow in Srinagar, Kashmir, on September 19, 2019. (File photo by AFP)

Shahana Butt
Press TV, Kashmir

This is the peak of the Apple harvest season in Kashmir: the fruit market, which would otherwise be full of the hustle and bustle of growers, traders, and buyers, wears a deserted look today. This is Asia’s second largest fruit market.

The abrogation of Kashmir's partial autonomy by New Delhi in August has pushed the region to a standstill.

For the past couple of weeks, these transporters have been awaiting apple produce to be loaded, but so far, no success.

Also, in the absence of communications, the growers have no idea of the market rates and are reluctant to sell their produce to the government due to its fractured pricing policy.

More than 40 percent of Kashmir’s economy is dependent on the Horticulture sector, and it provides employment to tens of thousands of people.

Besides the security clampdown and communication blackout, the apple traders have received threats from unknown agencies to stop doing trade. All this has dented the largest sector of Kashmir’s economy.

The uncertainty is looming ever high in Kashmir as people of the region fear what they call India’s colonization plan in the Himalayan region. In the absence of any international support, people of the disputed region have lost hope and are relying upon their own resilience against India’s decision. But how far the people of Kashmir would sustain this situation remains a question.

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