With pressure mounting on it to review its agitation in Kashmir Valley,the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani toned down its strike calendar ahead of Eid-ul-Azha celebrations in third week of this month.
According to the 12-day protest calendar issued by Geelani,there are only three days of strikes.
The toning down of the protest calendar,which used to have only three to four days of normalcy in 10 days,comes hours after more than 100 activists of Jammu and Kashmir NGO Forum staged an anti-strike rally in the city.
The roadside vendors of Sunday market,who had followed the protest schedules issued during the five months of unrest in the Valley,today did not pay heed to Geelani’s call for observing ‘civil curfew’ on the occasion of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India.
Pressure had been mounting on Geelani to review his strike schedules as a little known Jammu and Kashmir Ittehadi Islami outfit had given a two-day ultimatum to the separatists to call off the unending cycle of strikes.
According to official estimates,the state economy has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 27,000 crore during the recent agitation in the Valley. Most of the losses were suffered on account of taxes and levies which could not be collected.
However,industry sources put the losses to around Rs 40,000 crore in terms of lost business opportunities over the past five months.
More than 60,000 youth have been rendered jobless,mostly in the hotel industry,which depends on tourism the worst hit sector due to the strikes and curfews in the Valley.
The non-Kashmiri labourers also suffered immense losses as most of two lakh skilled and unskilled workforce from UP,West Bengal,Punjab,Bihar and Orissa fled the Valley after the protests intensified at the peak of the working season.