‘If we were Covid positive, why our bakery items worth lakhs were destroyed’, ask two Bla Bakers

‘If we were Covid positive, why our bakery items worth lakhs were destroyed’, ask two Bla Bakers

DC says, ‘will compensate them’

Srinagar, May 26 : The two bakers from Watergam area of Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, who tested positive for the Covid-19 on May 20, are under tremendous psychological duress after concerned authorities ordered for the destroying of all bakery items at the two shops and godowns.

The bakers, who are under quarantine at present, alleged that their bakery items worth lakhs were destroyed illogically on the directions of “Tehsildear Watergam, by misusing his power and showing utter arrogance”.

Before Eid-ul-Fitr, J&K government had ordered for random testing bakers across Kashmir. On May 17, the samples of baker Farooq Ahmed Mir who runs, Mir Musaib Bakery shop and Muhammad Saleem who owns Al Habib Bakery shop at Watergam, Rafiabad, were taken for testing. Both the bakers tested positive for the Covid-19 on May 20.

“Soon after my report came as positive, we were whisked away by the administration along with my family members and put under quarantine. In a quarantine centre, I got a call from one of my relatives that police and the officials of the administration were looking for keys of shop and godown. My relatives were warned, if keys are not handed over to them, godown and shop will be razed to ground within minutes,” claimed Muhammad Saleem.

He said that the officials of administration seized all bakery items from godown and shop and later destroyed the same in an “utter unscientific manner.

Same story was narrated by another baker Farooq Ahmed Mir. “The officials warned my family members, if keys are not handed over them, they would damage the godown as well as my shop. We had to pay to our labourers who had been working hard at the godown a week before Eid.  Besides, we had purchased all the items from the dealers for making bakery without paying them in advance. There were many bakery varieties at my godown and shop worth lakhs,” said Mir.

Saleem also said that he had produced bakery worth lakhs at his godown and shop. “Our livelihood was hit by the Tehsildar concerned. We have one question, if we tested positive for the Covid, why our bakery items were destroyed. The administration also asked people who had purchased bakery from our shops, to destroy the same,” the duo under tremendous pressure told.

They said that medical experts and even Assistant Commissioner Food and Safety have been stating that virus can’t stay on food items including Bakery for more than eight hours.

“People could have simply stored the Bakery items they purchased from our shops and consumed them after two days as by then virus would have died even if that would have been present in our bakery items,” the two bakers said and accused the “Tehsildar for acting in a haste.”

Assistant Commissioner Food and Safety Kashmir Hilal Ahmed Mir had earlier told media men that virus doesn’t stay on food items for over seven to eight hours. About destroying bakery items in Watergam, he had stated the issue was yet to be brought to his notice.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Baramulla G N Yatoo said that the bakers under quarantine had produced bakery in bulk and had no permission to do that. “Now that their bakery items were destroyed, we will analyze the level of loss and accordingly compensate them,” he told news agency.

Teshsildar Watergam Kifyat Ali said that they were concerned about the safety of people. “We had told them not to sell the bakery but they continued selling it. Our first priority was the safety of people. We thought it better to destroy the bakery so that we can save people from the deadly COVID-19 virus,” he told and added that they have forwarded the file for compensation to the higher authorities in the District. (KINS)

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