Kashmiri shopkeepers in Leh deliberately forced to evict their shops: Mirwaiz

KL Report


Expressing serious concern, Hurriyat (M) Chairman, Mirwaz Umar Farooq on Thursday said the Kashmiri Muslim shopkeepers of Leh in Ladakh region were being deliberately forced to evict their shops on the pretext of road widening by the local administration.

Terming it as a dangerous trend, Mirwaiz said that instead of providing any succor to Kashmiri Muslim shopkeepers, who are doing their business in the area from decades onwards, the administration was safeguarding the interests of particular section of people and even protecting the dismantling of their shops by keeping them outside the ambit of the new master plan for Leh area.

By bringing the Muslim owned shops under the ambit of Master plan, Mirwaiz said the local administration was playing a partisan role by clearing the way to dismantle their shops and devoid them of their source of livelihood.

Mirwaiz made these remarks during his meeting with a delegation of Muslim shopkeepers from Leh who apprised him about the partisan role played by the local administration to deliberately target and evict them from their shops.

Expressing concern over the double standard of district administration; he said their actions were communally motivated.

He assured shopkeepers that Hurriyat (M) would utilize its all resources to help them and would lodge strong protest to inform the public about their suffering at the hands of local administration of Leh. Mirwaiz sternly condemned the government inaction to implement the court orders regarding the dismantling of Kashmiri Muslim owned shops saying it shows their helplessness. He said that Kashmiri Muslims traders were part of the Leh trade economy and it was highly foolish that they can be stopped merely on the regional basis. Mirwaiz said Jammu Kashmir was geographically united region and people can’t be stopped to trade mere on the basis that he belongs to a particular region.

He said earlier the communal tensions were raked in Gool, Kishwar and now stopping Kashmiri traders from doing business in Leh seems to be part of a concerted effort to divide the state on regional lines.

Mirwaiz said if the local administration has to dismantle shops for road widening than Muslims and Buddhists, both should be treated on equal basis. He said providing security to one section of people is unjust and its fallout directly falls on the state administration.


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