Srinagar, May 17: Reacting to the appeals of Airport Road shopkeepers, the Peoples Conference led by Sajad Gani Lone Friday instantly supported the traders’ fraternity saying the PC wouldn’t allow any closure of shops even as it bashed the civic body for its ultimatum to the traders.
 In a statement, the Peoples Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu accused the Srinagar Municipal Corporation of “harassing and oppressing shopkeepers to close down any openings and access towards the main road on the Indira Gandhi Airport Road.”
 Mattu said: “SMC should desist from working as an economic persecution wing of National Conference and understand that the livelihood of hundreds of small shopkeepers is at stake here.”
 “Earlier also, the State government had implemented a ridiculous, elitist policy of brickwalling all shop openings on the Airport Road. Now, they are out to suffocate these shopkeepers yet again,” he added.
 Mattu “assured the delegation of shopkeepers from Humhama to Rambagh that he would personally support them in opposing the obstructionist designs of SMC and the State Government when it comes to such a crucial issue.”
 He said: “Airport Road is not a personal family inheritance of the Chief Minister or his cronies but a road that has both commercial and residential aspects.”
 “The shutters and openings to the shops on the Airport Road were closed many years ago, at a time when these hapless people had no voice to stand up to such brazen political bullying. But now, enough is enough. There is no logic to deprive these shopkeepers of their basic economic right and a campaign would be launched from Humhama to Rambagh to re-open the shutter openings that were closed in the past. The SMC should not dare think that it can snatch the livelihoods of hundreds of families that are directly dependent on small-time retail shops on the Airport Road.”
 Mattu, while speaking to the delegation of shopkeepers, as per his party handout, said: “The local MLA from Amira Kadal had abandoned his constituency for more than four years and the pressing issues of people like this particular issue, were invisible to him.”
 “Now, the photo-op appearances and re-emergence of the MLA after four years of political indifference were insulting and contemptuous to the people,” he added.
 He said the Peoples Conference would “stand up to any plans that SMC has to terrorize and economically annihilate hundreds of shopkeepers on the Indira Gandhi Airport Road.”

Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 May 2013 00:00:00 IST

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