SRINAGAR: Valley based trade bodies have condemned the alleged harassment of traders and arresting of youth by police in Baramulla and Sopore, after the twin towns boycotted the Lok Sabha polls on Wednesday.
Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) has termed the police action as act of “terrorism” and “hooliganism”, while Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) has threatened to come on streets if “atrocities” are not stopped.
“The trade fraternity in Sopore and Baramulla have suffered huge financial losses at the hands of police and CRPF and people in these towns have been terrorised beyond measure. We condemn these acts and appeal the complete halt to these acts of terror and hooliganism,” chief spokesperson, KEA, Siraj Ahmad said.
He said that the police and CRPF in these towns have barged into the house, invaded the privacy of people, beat the dwellers and took away cash and jewellery from several houses.
“The Alliance condemns these acts which could not been possible without the support of higher ups in political and bureaucratic circles. One can only conclude that the frustration due to election boycott observed by the people in these areas could be the prime cause of these acts,” said Siraj.
He said that KEA demands immediate halt to such acts and adequate compensation to all the affected families.
“Besides, judicial probe should be conducted on emergency basis in these acts,” said Siraj.
President KTMF, Mohammad Yasin Khan said that they have been continuously receiving reports from their affiliated district trade bodies that police has been “unnecessarily harassing” the traders in Sopore and Baramulla after the election process was over.
“We strongly condemn such acts and urge government to put control on police and CRPF,” said Khan.
He said that police have let the “reigns of terror” loose in these areas and target the innocent traders and if there is no end of these acts the federation has no option, but to come on roads in solidarity with the fraternity.
He said that the Kashmiri traders have always been victimized and harassed both within and outside the state and many have been labelled as terrorists.
“Now they are being harassed by the police for low voter turn over and stone pelting in their areas,” said Khan.