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Protests in Uri against inadequate quake relief
December 26, 2005 16:56 IST
Quake-affected people in Uri Monday observed a shutdown and staged demonstrations alleging inadequate relief by the Jammu and Kashmir government.
All shops and business establishments in the border town and adjoining villages in Baramulla district remained closed, while public and private transport went off the roads.
Slogans against the state government and local administration rented the air as several thousand protestors came out on the streets demanding early release of compensation for reconstruction of their houses damaged in the October 8 quake.
The protests were, however, peaceful. Local leaders of the Pahari Action Committee, sponsoring the agitation, criticised the government for its alleged failure to distribute relief in a transparent manner.
Protestors accused the authorities of failing to provide compensation to genuine victims for rebuilding their houses or temporary sheds.
"Cheques have been issued to fake parties and the genuine victims have been left to the mercy of the god," Irshad Ahmed, spokesman of action committee said adding, even the government's promise to provide immediate cash relief for construction of sheds had not been kept.
Denying the allegations, Relief Commissioner of Uri Bashir Ahmad Runiyal said the government had released Rs 43 crore to the victims as first instalment.
"In the second instalment we have given 10,366 cheques to people for construction of the sheds and have released the money," he said.
As per the court directions, in two days we have released 3,000 cheques, he said adding, only few cheques were withheld for technical reasons.