M A I N   N E W S

Now stones reverse swing in the Valley
Fed up with strikes, traders revolt, hurl stones at protesters!

Srinagar, August 23
Fed up with repeated strikes by separatists in Kashmir, shopkeepers are up in arms against protesters, who are getting the taste of their own bitter pill as locals are attacking them with stones. Clerics have also started making fervent appeals from mosques to open shops and restore normalcy in areas affected by violence.

An incident of clash was recently reported from Peerbagh in Budgham district of central Kashmir — the scene of violent protests during the past few weeks.

As separatists and their supporters reached the area to enforce a strike, they were greeted with stones. Local traders showered stones on these rowdy elements, who tried to force them to close down their establishments.

The police could not do anything much to quell the locals as securitymen were outnumbered. Later, these traders reached the police station and filed an FIR against 10 persons of neighbouring Nabir Gund village, holding them responsible for spoiling peace and threatening the locals.

Far away in Anantnag in South Kashmir, an appeal for opening of shops was made as people were facing lot of hardships on account of frequent strikes during the Holy month of Ramzan.

The separatists’ strike calls have hit the economy and at many a places people have been seen selling off their belongings at distress rates.

The business of shopkeepers has suffered a lot as the turmoil not only brought tourism to an abrupt halt but also forced establishments to remain closed for nearly two months now. In Ompura area in central Kashmir, there have been instances of exchange of hot words between businessmen and anti-social elements when the former were forced to shut down their shops.

In Meehama (South Kashmir), four men were beaten up by locals three days back when they were trying to enforce a strike in the area. Senior police officials said people were voicing their concern and the police was only intervening to prevent situation from turning worse. — PTI





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