January 2016 News

Pulwama Traders Bear Brunt Of Continuous Shutdown

11 January 2016
Rising Kashmir
Javid U Salam

Pulwama: With complete shutdown being observed in Pulwama town of south Kashmir for the 13th consecutive day, the business community is facing the brunt of the stalemate over the erection of a memorial plaque at the local graveyard. A heavy contingent of police and paramilitary personnel was deployed across the town. The situation remained tense after police detained around three dozen youth in the past couple of days. Most of the shops remained closed till noon. However, in the afternoon some of the shopkeepers dealing with vegetables, milk, medicines and baby food items opened their shops after a notice under Essential Services Regulation Act was served to them by the office of Deputy Commissioner Pulwama. A senior police official said he is hopeful that the situation would improve by tomorrow. Some shops have opened and we hope by tomorrow others would also open, he said, adding that they held a round of talks with Auqaf and traders federation in past two days for solving the issue. Speaking to Rising Kashmir, Chairman Auqaf Committee Pulwama, Bashir-ud-Din Azim said social media and some sections of press in Kashmir have given undue hype to the plaque issue and blown it out of proportion. 'We have a graveyard here and people are buried in it. We want to have a simple signpost with some Quranic verses,' he said, adding that they do not favour the signpost the pictures of which were released on social media and published in a local daily. He said they want a peaceful solution of the issue and would be meeting the authorities again. President Traders Federation Pulwama, Bashir Ahmad Wani said the issue was wrongly projected in social media from day one and the truth has been distorted. 'The sooner this issue is solved the better it will be for us, for administration and for the people,' he said, adding that they want a simple signpost for the graveyard. Wani said due to shutdown the business community in Pulwama is suffering a loss of Rs 45 lakhs per day in terms of profit and Rs five crores in sales. Expressing his frustration with the continuous strike, Ishrat Ahmad, a local shopkeeper, said: 'I feel as if I have been chocked. The continuous closure of the market has disturbed my routine and I feel uneasiness.'