A day after Food Security Act was implemented by the government, consumers protested in Srinagar and Bandipora against it. Hundreds of people from different localities took to streets and blocked the main roads of their areas and chanted slogans against the Consumers and Affairs and Public Distribution department, demanding justice. Men, women in Barbarshah area of Srinagar City blocked the bridge and burned tyres in the mid of the road and were not allowing any vehicle to pass through. A agitated woman told KNS that the department is trying to kill them by not providing an adequate ration. “The ration depot officials are also reluctant to accept the ration quantity issued by the higher ups and have closed the depot in our area. What can we do with 3 kgs.? Who is claiming that the quantity is enough for the people here,” the protesters questioned. The residents of Abi Guzar also staged protest against the department for failing to provide an adequate ration to them. “We are being forced to take to streets by providing less quantity of ration to us. It is better for the department to cancel our ration cards despite leaving us to suffer,” the protesters said. “Three KGs of rice for one person for the one month is not sufficient in a state where people are rice eaters,” said the protestors. “We are three members in family. Under NFSA, we are entitled only for 9 KG rice for the entire month. The law denies us right to food,” said Shabir Ahmad, a protestor. The protestors took Residency Road to protest against the Act, massive traffic jam was witnessed on at regal Chowk, forcing authorities to divert traffic on other roads. The protesters told KNS that such kind of apathy with the people here will not be tolerated at any cost. “We are appealing higher ups to take necessary step in this regard, which will accommodate the aspirations of people here,” he said. People also held protests in Bandipora district against the Act, saying that the Food Law is anti-public. Despite reassurances from the government that NFSA is “for the benefit of public at large” but the reassurances had no takers as people in Srinagar continued protests against the law. NFSA was implemented in J&K on February 15, this year, guarantees five Kg rice per person for a month. The protestors alleged that they were provided only three Kg rice per member.
2015 Kashmir Despatch