Shoppers in Anantnag allege fleecing by traders, make a beeline to city


foodgrain_reuters2Shoppers fleeced by the shopkeepers in Anantnag district of South Kashmir prefer to move towards the city to buy the necessary items ahead of Eid. Though the markets here wear a festive look yet people say they prefer to buy goods from markets in the city – because of the undue price hike.

“All the things like bakery, confectionary etc are being sold at higher rates. In the morning when we went to shop for things the rates offered were much more than expected,” says Sara, a homemaker.

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Sara on witnessing this scenario directly made her way towards the city – where she says things are being sold at affordable and reasonable prices.

“The shopkeepers in our district are looting people on the name of festivities. Price hike is good when kept marginal but they are passing the limits,” she adds.

People here complain that Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department has carried no or little market checkups here.

“The shopkeepers are openly cheating innocent people and lack of checking squads is giving them a free hand to carry this practice well,” she says.

Sara says that being away from Srinagar gives an advantage to the shopkeepers as there is little checking. “They tell us that the rates and we quietly buy things. But while shopping in city I came to know about the difference and the way we are being cheated,” she adds.

Sara isn’t the only one who prefers to buy things from city markets but there are many who visit here during festivals and marriage occasions.

“We always witness varying prices between city and other districts,” says Riyaz Ahmad, a resident of Pulwama district in South Kashmir.

However, shopkeepers say that they have to add up the additional charges on items as they pay to get things to their place.

“We have to sell things at certain margin as we pay travelling, transportation and other charges while getting the goods delivered to our shops,” says Manzoor Ahmad, a grocer at Anantnag.

Lubna Reshi