GST row: Valley traders shut businesses, authorities impose restrictions in City areas

Authorities on Wednesday imposed restrictions in Srinagar areas falling under the jurisdiction of five Police Stations while a complete shutdown was observed by the Valley traders in most parts of the Valley to protest against the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the state.

Officials said that the restrictions under section 144 CrPc were imposed in Srinagar areas falling under the jurisdiction of five Police Stations including Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Safakadal. 

The restrictions were imposed in view of the shutdown called by the Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC), an amalgam of traders and civil societies against the GST implementation in JK and the alleged highhandedness of government.   

A large contingent of force was deployed on the Srinagar roads to thwart any possible protests against the GST implementation.

Witnesses said that the forces had also erected concertina wires on the roads, which resulted in a huge traffic mess in Srinagar areas.

Meanwhile, all the shops and other business establishments in most parts of the Valley including the commercial Hub Lal Chowk remained closed while the traffic was also thin on the roads.    

However, JKCC members on the second consecutive day today held a sit-in at Clock Tower (Ganta Ghar) against the government’s ‘imminent decision’ of implementing GST here, which according to them will infringe the special status of JK.

The protesting members raised anti-GST slogans during the protest and were demanding government to ‘stop infringing the special status of JK’.

Police however, swung into the action and detained scores of trade union leaders including Muhammad Sadiq Baqal, Zahoor Budshah, Hilal Ahmad Mandoo and others.

The trade union leaders were lodged at Kothibagh Police Station.

Earlier, talking to reporters, the trade union leaders said that they won’t allow the government to take any step, which would be against the people’s aspirations. “We are ready to sacrifice our lives to safeguard the special status of JK,” the traders said.

“Our state has its own constitution and why the government is mulling to implement any GST here. The imminent move of the government is against the aspirations of the people here and the incumbent regime must take any step, which would accommodate the aspirations of people,” the traders said.

Pertinently, JKCC on Jul 04 called for a shutdown against what they termed as ‘the government highhandedness’ and the implementation of GST in JK.

JKCC leaders had said that the authorities “unlawfully” detained them during the protest today. “There was no reason to put us behind bars and to stop us from raising the voice against the government’s imminent decision,” JKCC had said.


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