Those threatening apple farmers in Kashmir will be “punished” if they do not mend their ways: Governor

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Kashmir:In a major attempt to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday launched the ‘Market Intervention Scheme for Apples of J&K’, warning that those threatening apple farmers will be “punished” if they do not mend their ways.

Malik asserted that the government will do everything it takes to protect the farming community and activate the economy that has been halted since the abrogation of Article 370 that took away the special status of J&K, bifurcating it into UTs as Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Addressing a function at the launch of the scheme, Malik said, “I want to warn those threatening our farmer brothers. Let them change their behaviour immediately or else we will provide full security to farmers.”

“We will immediately punish those threatening farmers. So, no one should harass or threaten farmers… If he is selling and you threaten him and even fire at his two-year-old daughter, then you cannot remain free for a long time,” he added.

The Governor’s remarks came after a fruit merchant’s house in Sopore area was hit in a terror attacked leaving four people injured.

Addressing the press, Principal Secretary of J&K Rohit Kansal said, “Today, Governor launched first-ever support price-based procurement system for apples in J&K. We’ve taken note of concerns raised by farmers regarding rates offered to them, as well as transportation issues, this scheme addresses all these concerns.”

Kansal reassured that the government was taking steps to reestablish normalcy as all restrictions on movement have been lifted. Landline phone services are functional and mobile communication is being restored. “There continues to be tremendous provocation from across the border, therefore, any decision must factor that provocation,” he said.

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