Police Warns Traders Against Observing Shutdown Today

KO File Pic: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Claiming that the shutdowns were boosting morale of militant organisations, the Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday warned traders against observing a strike in this capital city on the second anniversary of special status revocation.

According to reports, police on Wednesday held a meeting with local shopkeepers, traders and manufacturers of the city centre Lal Chowk at the Kothi Bagh police station and directed them not to observe any shutdown on the second anniversary of special status revocation and to run their businesses as usual.

The meeting came at a time when police warned of serious action against the people circulating “fake tweet attributed to Syed Ali Shah Geelani, calling for strike on August 5 and 15,” in Jammu and Kashmir. Before Kothi Bagh police station, meetings were reportedly also held with traders’ fraternity at many police stations across the city.

Superintendent of Police (East) Srinagar, Ms.Tanushree told Kashmir Observer that in order to promote the prevailing normalcy in Kashmir, they have asked shopkeepers to keep their business establishments open tomorrow.

“Everything’s normal in Kashmir, so why to observe hartal on August 5th. If businesses can run normally on other days then they can remain open on August 5th also,” she said.

“We have convened meetings with traders all over Srinagar and have clearly mentioned that the government will not support any hartal. We want everything to be normal. As business establishments operate today, they’re supposed to do the same tomorrow and on the upcoming days,” she added.

The senior police officer further said that shutdowns were doing nothing except helping militant organisations in boosting their morale to trouble Kashmir’s on-going normalcy with their t activities.

“By keeping their establishments open, these business owners will help to safeguard Kashmir’s peace,” she said, adding “The government and law-enforcement agencies will not entertain any hartal and action will be taken against offenders.”

She further said that people in Kashmir are fed up with shutdowns and want peace, development and normalcy.

“So, J&K Police will not compromise on that,” she said.

A senior member from the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) told Kashmir Observer that on Wednesday morning he received a call from Kothi Bagh Police station from a senior police official who had informed him to keep his establishment open tomorrow (August 5)in order to stay away from any kind of problem.

“This order from the J&K Police is the first of its kind since 2019, before that no one has ever forced us to do so,” he said, on the condition of anonymity

“I’ve already passed on this communication from Police to other shopkeepers and association presidents,” he added.

Many of the business owners who are the registered members of various trade bodies have criticized the move saying that the government or police cannot force them to remain open against their own will.

“How can they impose this dictation on shopkeepers when it is our own choice whether to keep our shops open or close,” President of one of the officially registered Traders Association from Srinagar said.

He further added, “How is our decision to close shops a threat to peace and normalcy of Kashmir. I don’t want to open my business establishment tomorrow but then I fear that the police may take strict action against me and try to make an example out of me.”

Police Files Case Over Shutdown Tweet

Police also on Wednesday warned action against those circulating “fake tweets attributed to Syed Ali Shah Geelani, calling for strike on August 5 and 15,” in Jammu and Kashmir.

” As per family sources of SAS Geelani,the tweet is fake and issued by someone from Pakistan. Police are taking action against those who are circulating it to instigate violence. Case FIR under relevant sections of ULA(P)stands registered in Police station Budgam,” police said in a tweet.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

A media graduate from LPU, Zaid Bin Shabir is a Srinagar based journalist whose works have appeared in many local and international publications.

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