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Police foil Quarry holders protest in Srinagar

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Srinagar, Oct 1, CNS: Police on Monday resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse quarry holders who had staged a protest at Pantha Chowk in the outskirts of Srinagar city to press for revocation of ban on quarrying in the area.

Hundreds of quarry holders along with their family members began to protest early on Monday. They blocked the main Pantha Chowk main road leading to traffic disruption.

Protestors assembled under the banner of United Quarry Association, were carrying banners and raised slogans to demand an end to the ban.

The protest sit-in triggered a massive traffic jam in the area, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded for hours together since today morning.

Hundreds of vehicles were left stranded on the road between Pantha Chowk and Sonwar and Pantha Chowk stretch of the road.

Those stranded involved patients and office-goers as well. “The government should have negotiated with the protesters and saved us of the hassle. It is Monday, first day of the week, and we are running late to the office,” said a stranded commuter who was heading towards his office in Lal Chowk from Pampore.

The policemen lobbed scores of tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. Few protesters were injured in the forces’ action.

“Our demand is to revoke the ban on stone quarry work at Pantha Chowk or rehabilitate us at suitable place. The ban has rendered hundreds of persons jobless while our families are at the verge starvation,” Farooq Ahmad Mir, president of the Association told news agency CNS.