SRINAGAR: Kashmir trade bodies on Friday held demonstrations in Srinagar’s city centre Lal Chowk Srinagar and in Baramulla town on Friday to protest against mob attacks on Kashmiris outside the valley, particularly in Jammu.
In Lal Chowk and adjoining markets, traders downed shutters at 3:30pm and assembled around the Ghanta Ghar or clock tower. The trade organisations that had organised the protest included Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Kashmir Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, and Lal Chowk Traders Association. Other traders’ organisations from downtown Srinagar also participated in the protest.
The traders raised slogans and strongly denounced the communal attacks against Kashmiris living in mainland India.
The traders also took out a protest march to condemn the attacks. They demanded that the government take immediate and necessary steps to ensure safety of Kashmiris outside the valley.
Kashmir Traders Manufacturing Federation (KTMF) president Muhammad Yasin Khan said that in view of attacks on Kashmiri students, businessmen and labourers outside the Valley, the traders had observed a complete shutdown after 3:30pm in Lal Chowk and adjoining areas to express solidarity with their fellow Kashmiris.
“All traders’ bodies of Kashmir will hold a joint meeting on Monday to decide whether valley-based traders will continue trade links with Jammu traders or not in the future,” Khan said.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) vice president Nasir Hamid Khan said, “This was a peaceful protest demonstration of various traders bodies of Kashmir valley against the recent attacks on Kashmiri students and traders in various Indian states.”
In Baramulla a similar protest demonstration was held, led by the president of Beopar Mandal Baramulla, Mohammad Ashraf Ganai, and general secretary Tariq Ahmad Magloo.
The federation urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and J&K Governor Satyapal Malik to take every possible step for the safety and security of Kashmiris in every part of the country.
Tariq Ahmad Magloo said that attacks on security forces have taken place in other parts of country as well but people there have not been targeted the way Kashmirs were being targeted. Why this step-motherly approach towards Kashmiris, he asked.