Valley Traders Call For Bandh Today

The Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) faction headed by Showkat Chowdhary has called for ‘Kashmir bandh’ tomorrow against Friday’s attack on a Valley-bound truck in Udhampur district of the Jammu region.

In an KEA meeting held today, Chowdhary while calling for a shutdown, demanded security for the Kashmiri people travelling from Jammu to Srinagar, especially truck drivers and to their properties.

He said such attacks “point to criminal conspiracy hatched by vested interested people and is aimed to destabilise the state”.

“With such attacks, a fear has crept among the people travelling from Jammu to Srinagar. The government should provide immediate security to Kashmiris to prevent this situation from further deteriorating. We condemn such attacks with strongest terms,” said Chowdhary.

“The government should ensure such elements are curbed or if government fails to do so, it has potential to repeat the 2010 and 2008 like unrest. The entire onus lies with the state administration to book the culprits and take strong action against them,” he added.

Chowdhary also urged Jammu traders to expose those elements behind the attacks.

“Such attacks will only bring losses to Jammu traders and Kashmiris will stop ties with them. There is no point in doing trade with Jammu people if we are not safe in Jammu,” he said.

The meeting was attended by KEA constituent members of several associations, including Goods Transport Association, Minibus Association, Houseboat Owners Association, Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Association, Private School Coordination Committee, Food Processing Association, Contractors Coordination Committee and Kashmir Trader Federation.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Forum (KTMF) faction headed by Mohammad Sadiq Baqal also called for ‘Kashmir bandh’ tomorrow and staged a protest at the Press Enclave area. Talking to reporters, he said the KTMF had given a bandh call and appealed to people to observe a complete shutdown tomorrow. Alleging that the attack was carried out as part of a conspiracy to hit Valley’s economy, Baqal said Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed should “break the coalition and part ways with the BJP”.

Meanwhile, following the ‘Kashmir bandh’ call of traders, All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani and JKLF chairman Yasin Malik too issued statements appealing people to observe a shutdown on Monday.

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