Shopkeepers whose shops have been handed over to ex-servicemen on Saturday staged a protest along with their children in Kashmir capital Srinagar, seeking the intervention of the Army Commander into the matter.
At least 27 people both local and non-locals have lost their shops after they were asked to vacate by 31 Sub Area Commander. These shops are located at Corps Battle School (CBS), Training Schools in Khrew village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The evicted shopkeepers along with their children emerged in Press Enclave Srinagar to register their protest. They were carrying placards and banners seeking justice.
“We had been running these shops for the past 25 years. In October 2019, we were served an eviction notice. We were informed that a new law has been enacted and these shops will be given to ex-servicemen. We approached the court of law but the irony is that the locks of our shops were broken and goods thrown out despite the matter being subjudice,” one of the shopkeepers Pawan Kumar Agarwal told the news agency Kashmir Post.
Shopkeepers Association President Ghulam Mohiuddin said that before eviction notice they were allowed to renovate their shops. “We spent a lot of money on renovation but little did we know that these shops will be taken away from us and given to ex-servicemen. We request GoC 15 Corps to intervene and deliver justice,” he said.
Pertinently, 27 shops were closed inside the training school Khrew area of Pampore since 2019. The matter is subjudice. The protesting shopkeepers said that some of the shops have been handed over to ex-servicemen without waiting for the court decision.
The protesting shopkeepers appealed to General Commanding Officer 15 Corps and 31 Sub Area Commander to do justice with them and don’t deprive them of earning a livelihood.