After a year since the tragic Kashmir Floods that drastically changed how the valley once looked, the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) called for a bandh in the state on September 7. The bandh's anger was directed towards the Narendra Modi-led government, protesting against the poor relief work in the state. KEA is an amalgamation of various trade associations of Kashmir. They were protesting against the state government for making 'false promises' on relief and rehabilitation of the people who have suffered the crisis. The people of the state are mostly relying on their fortitude and the collective resilience of the community to pick up the pieces from one of the most devastating natural calamities in their history.
Last year, around the same time more than 300 people died and a lot of property was damaged. Even after a year, most of the flood-affected people haven't received any relief. According to the reports, the Center has released a meagre Rs 2,400 crore while the state government had proposed Rs 44,000 crore for the relief project. In support of the strike, the University of Kashmir called off all the exams scheduled for the day.
A view of the deserted Lal Chowk during the strike.
With the accusations by the separatists and the Opposition against the PDA-BJP government that the official response to the crisis has been superficial, the people themselves are trying to devote their energies to pull themselves out of their troubles.
"In Baramulla district, at a village we were working in, we had the community hastily come together to designate a village-level committee for coordinating among themselves and preparing a collective response to a tragedy that had practically spared no one," says Tabia Muzaffar of NGO Actionaid India.
Police in action against the traders and other flood victims after they defied restrictions to take out a protest rally during the strike.