Several businessmen taken to police stations or put under house arrest in morning, 15 prominent ones likely to be put in Central Jail
Srinagar: The new front put up by the Kashmiri business community called for ‘Kashmir Bandh’ on Wednesday against the detention of various traders and businessmen in Srinagar today.
Police on Tuesday detained at least 100 traders and other businessmen outside the Srinagar civil secretariat, when they were protesting against the Goods and Service Tax (GST).
Among them were renowned civil society member Shakeel Qalandar, KTMF president Mohammad Yasin Khan, and Dr Mubeen Shah. They were put under house detention.
The Jammu & Kashmir Co-ordination Committee (JKCC), an amalgam launched on Monday of traders, hoteliers, industrialists and civil society members, called for a complete shutdown against the detentions.
Hundreds of members of JKCC assembled outside the civil secretariat and started protesting against the GST’s implementation in J&K. A large contingent of police pounced on them and “detained” at least 100 of them.
The detainees include prominent businessmen Faiz Ahmad Bakshi, Siraj Ahmad, Zahoor Tramboo, Muazum Bakshi, Manzoor Bhat, Showkat Chowdhary, Bashir Rather, Farooq Dar, Aijaz Shahdad, Javed Ahmad and Ghulam Ahmad Laigaroo.
Faiz Ahmad Bakshi said that under the banner of JKCC, hundreds of businessmen were holding peaceful protest against the implementation of GST because the government had failed to bring changes in it to safeguard the sovereignty of the state.
“State government can’t be implemented it in its present form as it is against the special status and economic independence of our state,” Bakshi said.
Siraj Ahmad, convener of JKCC, in a statement announced a peaceful programme to protest against the GST. “It is most definitely going to compromise the fiscal autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir. The leaders of JKCC were either arrested or put under house arrest in the wee hours to foil our programme,” said the convener.
“Hundreds of traders, industrialists and civil society activists were detained and lodged in various police stations,” he said.
The JKCC said the “brutal action” had strengthened their resolve to fight the GST.
“Through these deceitful tactics attempts are being made to erode whatever is left of the state’s autonomy,” JKCC said.
The JKCC said that police were unlikely to release 15 of its prominent members within a few days. “These detained members are likely to be shifted to Central Jail to foil our programmes,” said a member of JKCC.