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Taking a serious note of the reported remarks of the Labor Department ( shops and establishments) that the authorities will “ensure closure of shops”, a per the recently issued order of weekly off for various areas of Srinagar, the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) President Haji Muhammad Yasin Khan said coalition sarkar was playing with fire by provoking the trader community of Kashmir.

In a statement, Khan, who also heads the Kashmir Economic Alliance said: “We have already appealed to the government that the weekly off calendar for Srinagar is anti-business diktat that will hamper the business interests of the traders earning livelihood in a place like Kashmir where markets are of often off due to security restrictions or strike calls.”

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“Not a day passes when market or other is not closed duo to turmoil, so in given conditions we cannot keep the markets shuts,” he said.

Citing an example, Khan said: “Moreover, people love to visit Shahere Khaas (old city) on Fridays as it houses most of the shrines and masjids. Keeping the market closed on this day, is a conspiracy to kill the business activities. Same is true for other areas.”

He said likewise the Central Business District around Lal Chowk is equally often closed. “In a conflict zone the traders need to be given some relaxations to earn livelihood but it seems that that government is interested to make traders take to streets again and again,” he said.

Asking traders to be prepared, Khan said: “If the concerned authorities try to enforce market closure in accordance with the new calendar, the entire locality will observe shutdown while KTMF team will instantly visit the affected market to decide about future course of action,” Khan said.

The KTMF chief said if the government remains reluctant on its “anti-business” stand then the traders will be left with no options but to go for a massive agitation, onus of which shall lie on the government.

He also appealed the entire trade fraternity of Kashmir to be united for his cause and be prepared for a “decisive agitation because otherwise our livelihood is being snatched.”



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