Use of force: Old city observes shutdown

Srinagar: A complete shutdown was observed in old city on Saturday against the use of force and harassment of shopkeepers around Jamia Masjid, Srinagar.
The call for a shutdown was given by Traders Association of old city Srinagar.  The traders were protesting against harassment of shopkeepers by police and they are demanding action against a cop who fired from a pellet gun injuring a shopkeeper Sajad Ahmad Khan. Police and CRPF thrashed many shopkeepers of Nowhatta and Gojwara market when clashes erupted after Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid.
“A young shopkeeper Sajad Ahmad was badly injured when a pellet hit his head. After that police and CRPF thrashed many shopkeepers of Nowhatta and Gojwara,” said Nazir Ahmad Shah, President of the Traders Association.
He said that the traders had decided to observe complete shutdown on Saturday to express their anger against the use of excessive power and demanded immediate arrest of the cop who injured the shopkeeper yesterday.
The shopkeepers said that that the heavy deployment of government forces in old city- particularly in Nowhatta area- was provoking youths who hurl stones on them.“On Fridays, authorities unnecessarily deploy excessive police and CRPF forces in the area. We appealed authorities not to do so but nobody pays need. Now we have decided not to tolerate these excesses,” Shah said.
Shah said that teargas shelling and firing pellets have become a routine for the forces. “Every Friday, we witness teargas shelling and pellet firing by police and CRPF,” adding that their business is being affected in such hostile atmosphere.
The injured shopkeeper has been admitted at SK Medical Institute of Sciences (SKIMS).