Srinagar: Jamia Masjid Traders and Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Association, besides some prominent citizens staged a peaceful sit in at Nowhatta against repeated imposition of strict curbs in down town Srinagar. They called the restrictions as an attempt at “converting it into a military fortress” by disallowing congregational Friday prayers and barring Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir from addressing the Friday sermon at the historic Jamia Masjid.
The traders said that curfew and restrictions are arbitrarily and frequently imposed by the government at will, “caging the entire population of downtown that has seriously cast a shadow on the economy and trade of downtown, which is considered the oldest business hub of Kashmir”.
A statement issued by the traders in Srinagar said that the protesting traders also demanded immediate release of incarcerated pro-freedom leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
“The traders in unison said that such deliberate assaults on our religious institutions and cultural and economic centers are unacceptable and wont be tolerated. The traders warned the government that if it does not withdraw these repressive measures,” said the statement. “Protests will be intensified and the entire blame of consequences will lie on the government.”
The protesting traders warned that if the “iron-fist policy” of the government continued, the traders’ bodies across Kashmir will join hands and start a Kashmir-wide protest campaign.