From apples to tourism, Kashmir's political crisis exerts heavy toll

Public bus drivers sitting around the old bus depot in Kashmir's capital Srinagar. They have refused to drive as a mark of protest against the Indian government's decision to revoke the region's seven decades of constitutional autonomy. Dal Lake is c
Farmers sorting apples in an orchard under a cloud of fear after posters appeared in various villages in Shopian, a militancy-affected district in south Kashmir, warning them against picking their produce.ST PHOTO: BILAL FATIMA
Public bus drivers sitting around the old bus depot in Kashmir's capital Srinagar. They have refused to drive as a mark of protest against the Indian government's decision to revoke the region's seven decades of constitutional autonomy. Dal Lake is c
Drivers resting near their fruit-laden trucks in Shopian, south Kashmir. Posters which have appeared on trees, electricity poles and shop shutters in the past three weeks have warned against sending apples out of the state. ST PHOTO: BILAL FATIMA
Public bus drivers sitting around the old bus depot in Kashmir's capital Srinagar. They have refused to drive as a mark of protest against the Indian government's decision to revoke the region's seven decades of constitutional autonomy. Dal Lake is c
Public bus drivers sitting around the old bus depot in Kashmir’s capital Srinagar. They have refused to drive as a mark of protest against the Indian government’s decision to revoke the region’s seven decades of constitutional autonomy.ST PHOTO: BILAL FATIMA
Public bus drivers sitting around the old bus depot in Kashmir's capital Srinagar. They have refused to drive as a mark of protest against the Indian government's decision to revoke the region's seven decades of constitutional autonomy. Dal Lake is c
Dal Lake is called the jewel in Kashmir’s crown and is a major tourist attraction. Although the government has lifted a two-month old advisory banning tourist activities, hotels and some 1,000 houseboats remain empty. ST PHOTO: BILAL FATIMA

Farmer Hamid Mir has started picking apples from his orchards that stretch across 0.5ha in Kunzer, some 31km from Kashmir's capital Srinagar. But he is still unsure about where he will sell the harvest.

"Usually by August, September, buyers from Mumbai or Delhi or Punjab state would have come to my house, and we would have fixed rates and started sending the apples by trucks. But this year, because the phones were not working, I couldn't do anything."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2019, with the headline 'From apples to tourism, political crisis exerts heavy toll'. Print Edition | Subscribe