Majid Kapra

Traders at HSHS observe shutdown against SMCs ‘demolition’

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Srinagar: Traders at the Hari Singh High Street observed a complete shutdown Friday against the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMCs) move of demolishing portions of their shops protruding on the sidewalks.

All the shops were closed in marketplace while traders staged a protest. The call for shutdown was given by the HSHS Traders Association and endorsed by the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) and Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF).

The protesting traders said the authorities before pressing men and machinery into service “during the dead of the night” to carry out demolition should have consulted them for amicable settlement of the issue.

They alleged that SMC did not inform them about the move nor were they served with any notice.

Talking to reporters, KEA chairman, Mohammad Yasin Khan while condemning the demolition drive by the SMC during night said the move not only led to the losses worth crores but also caused resentment among the traders.

“Ours is a responsible community, we are taxpayers; hence the government, before resorting to demolition and bulldozing properties, should have taken us into confidence for an amicable settlement of the issue,” said Khan.

He also said the aim of observing shutdown and holding peaceful protest was to convey a message to the authorities concerned to desist from demolition and instead solve the matter in an amicable manner.

“Our protest is peaceful. Yes the traders are observing shutdown in protest as the SMC without serving any notice or informing them demolished many structures during the dead of the night. It’s better to hold parleys other than creating a sense of enragement among the traders community who play a key role in the economy,” Khan added.

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