Indian authorities have set up safe zones for fruit traders in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district to procure and send the produce outside the state. This was made a necessity by the recent attacks in which two traders were killed.
Also, there was an arson attempt on fruit truck in Jammu and Kashmir last Friday, where unidentified arsonists tried to set apple boxes that were being loaded onto a truck in north Kashmir’s Sopore town on fire on Friday . The police said the attempt was foiled.
“Some people tried to set the fruit which was being loaded in a truck on fire but due to the timely action the attempt was foiled,’’ Sopore’s superintendent of police Javid Iqbal told the Hindustan Times.
It was the latest in a string of attacks targeting the fruit industry, one of Kashmir’s economic mainstays, which have spread a sense of panic among people in the business. Horticulture is estimated to earn revenue of Rs.80 bln (€1.02 bln) a year for Jammu and Kashmir.
Eight to nine safe zones
Officials in the district administration said eight to nine "safe zones" have been earmarked in Shopian along the main roads in south Kashmir, to facilitate the fruit dealers to procure the fruits from the farmers. These zones are on the main roads of the district and closer to police, army and paramilitary CRPF establishments, the official said.
"The fruit traders and trucks have been pushed into these safer zones as a security measure. The government has been working on this idea for the last couple of days. It is a stop-gap sort of measure we have taken to ensure that there are no continued attacks," the official said.
Following the attacks, the official said, there were apprehensions that fruit trade would be severely affected, but "that did not happen" and the loading of fruits was going on.
When there were inputs about possible attacks on fruit dealers and as a security measure, the district administration has also asked about 600 truckers to stay put in Poshana area - near Pir Ki Gali on the Mughal Road, the official told menafn.com.