Large gathering is taking place at DC chowk where many local leaders of different political parties are delivering speeches. PML(N) leaders Raja Jahanzaib Khan, who headed the rally from Yasin, and Karim Ahmed, PML(Q) leader Dr. Mastan Shah, MQM leader Shah Zahir advocate, BNF (H) leader Qayum Khan, BNF (N) leader and former chairman municipal committee Hashim Khan, social worker from Punial and Yasin Muhammad Yonous, Shah Muslim, Bakhtawar Shah, Rehmat Aman, Ashraf Khan and Raja Saboor are among the speakers in procession.
The speakers criticized the authorities for decreasing more the Rs. 300 in subsidy for 100 kg bag of wheat. They condemned the government for keeping quite regarding the matter. The leaders regarded the move as repressing the people of the region, who have already been deprived of all kinds of industrial and other economic facilities, resulting in very limited opportunities of economic activities and employment. The disputed status of the region, in the wake of Kashmir issue, is another factor, which make the government responsible of providing every facility, to ensure living of the inhabitants, Instead of upholding the basic rights of the people, the government had, not only, consistently withdrawn all basic facilities, but also introduced taxes in the disputed region, violating the agreements made in the UN Security Council. The speakers reiterated their demands to restore the previous subsidy on wheat, and bring many other items of basic needs, like cooking oil, ghee, sugar, milk, rise, fuel (petroleum products, LNG) etc, into the fold of subsidy.
According to the information, brought by the our volunteer correspondent and some participants of the procession, more than five thousand people have already been gathered at DC chowk, so far, while arrival of others is underway, from nearby surrounding areas, as well as from far flung Ashkomen, Phander, Gupis and Yasin.
If the demand are not met at Gahkuch, the rally will head towards Gilgit later this afnoon, where a sit in will be held in front of Gilit Baltistan Legislative Assembly until the government issues notification to withdrawn its decision and restore the previous price of wheat.
The law and order situation of Gilgit city might be turned into worst, as the government does not seem to have taking the demands of protestors serious. The protesters have already given signal to surround the assembly building. Keeping the last years sad incident of Hunza, when five people, including a father and his son, were killed during a protest rally on the orders of Chief Minister Mehdi Shah, in mind, one can foresee the results of compelling angry mob into battle field at Chinar Bagh, the ever-resting place of our national heros.