Muheet ul Islam
Srinagar: Most shops and business establishments in Kashmir remained closed on Wednesday in response to a call for shutdown from the Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC), a united front formed by the business community against the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The district administration imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPc in areas under five police stations in old Srinagar, “as a precautionary measure”.
Residents of these areas said that police announced a curfew in morning and asked people to stay indoors. “I was not allowed to visit my ailing maternal grandmother in Hawal. She had undergone a heart surgery,” said Umer Imtiyaz, a resident of Safakadal. “I requested them several times but they sent me back,” he added.
Adil Bashir, a resident of Nowhatta, said that continuous curfew and restrictions have disturbed normal life in Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Safakadal. “Whenever something is happening in Kashmir, we are the ones who suffer the most. Our lives have become miserable,” he said.
The JKCC had claimed on Tuesday that at least 100 of its members were detained by police when they assembled outside the Civil Secretariat to protest against the GST.
Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had extended his full support to the JKCC.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by JKCC said they discussed the implications of the GST law. “The press reports available with the JKCC on the resolution shows it to be vague. Unless the real fine print is made available that how it is going to protect our fiscal autonomy, the matter remains unresolved and burning,” it said adding “It was decided to chalk out future course of action after studying the resolution passed today”.
The JKCC also expressed deep concern and anguish on the continued house arrest of its leaders Mubeen Shah, Mohammad Yaseen Khan and Shakeel Qalandar and demanded their immediate release.