Old City Shuts Down Against Pepper Gas, Bunker

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SRINAGAR: Markets in Old Srinagar remained mostly closed on Saturday, with locals and traders holding protests against the forces’ use of pepper gas on demonstrators, and warning of continuing their strike unless a paramilitary bunker at Kawdara was removed.  

Staging sit-ins on the streets, the protestors demanded a halt to what they termed as rampaging by forces personnel and ransacking of homes during action against violent crowds.

The shutdown closed major commercial areas in the Old City like Nauhatta, Jamai Market, Gojwara, Saraf Kadal, Kadi Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Nallah Mar, Chambar Dori, Bohri Kadal,  Maharaj Gunj and adjoining markets.

Locals and traders demanded the removing of the paramilitary bunker at Kaw Dara, describing it as “the main cause of stone-pelting.”

“The interior city will not see peace unless this bunker is removed,” they said.

They said that the use of pepper gas on protestors had added to the health problems of the ailing, particularly those suffering from respiratory disorders.

“One local woman, who was suffering from asthma, died recently by inhaling the acrid fumes of the gas,” they said. “Besides, it causes severe breathing problems among infants and the elderly.”           

The additional deputy commissioner for Srinagar visited the area during the protests, and assured traders of looking into the issue personally.

Talking to the officer, the locals repeated that forces personnel often burst into homes to beat inmates and damage property during action against violent protestors. 

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