Apple economy latest casualty in strife-torn Kashmir
A silent war on stomachs
Apple growers were expecting a bumper crop this year. Now, they say, losses are in the millions of dollars and the business might suffer its worst year since the beginning of the insurgency that has resulted in almost 70,000 deaths.
Ghosts from the past
More than two months later, the region remains under a communications blockade. Authorities have restored landline services and some cellphones, but not internet, making it difficult to reach traders outside the region to conduct business.
``It all started in August. We haven't recovered since,'' Shafi said.
Killings reported from the valley
That followed the arrests Tuesday of two militants suspected of shooting dead a truck driver near an apple orchard where he had collected 800 boxes of fruit.On Sept. 6, unknown gunmen fired at a fruit trader in northern Sopore, injuring him and four members of his family.
So, the orchards lie empty of harvesters, as overripe fruit ripens and thuds to the ground.