Various trade organizations have condemned use of pepper gas, ransacking of houses and detention of youth in Shaher-e-Khaas.
Senior Vice President Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Federation, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat said, "we strongly condemn smashing of windowpanes of residential houses, cars and detention of youth in Old City by police and CRPF."
"The forces also used pepper gas due to which, children, women, particularly pregnant women and patients faced health complications. The patients who are suffering from Asthma, faced difficulty to breathe properly besides children also complained of pain in chest," Bhat said demanding release of detained youth and ban of use of pepper gas.
"Due to restrictions, we have suffered huge losses for the past few days. We are unable to even pay income tax and bank interest as we are forced to keep our establishments closed due to restrictions," Bhat added.
President Jamia Traders Federation, Javed Ahmad Zargar, also decried use of pepper gas and frequent restrictions. "Use of pepper gas is taking a heavy toll on the health of newborns. Due to pepper gas, students are facing a tough time to concentrate on preparations for ongoing examinations. Besides, frequent restrictions have hit our business," Zargar said.
The All Kashmir Traders Federation Shaher-e-Khaas Zaina Kadal decried the decision of authorities to frequently impose restrictions in Old City areas.
"Frequent restrictions in Shaher-e-Khaas have badly affected our business. We strongly condemn the move of authorities to frequently impose restrictions in Shaher-e-Khaas," said Nazir Ahmad Shah, the President of All Kashmir Traders Federation Shaher-e-Khaas Zaina Kadal.
Elaborating, Shah said most of the wholesale dealers of various goods are based in Shaher-e-Khaas. "Due to restrictions, the traders are not able to supply goods to retailers in others areas of Kashmir. Our orders are getting cancelled and we are fast losing our customer base. The imposition of frequent restrictions in Shaher-e-Khaas seems to be part of a conspiracy to hit our business," he said.
"On one side, the authorities are pressing us to pay our sales tax and electricity dues and on the other they frequently impose restrictions in Old City particularly in traditional markets. We urge authorities to review its indifferent policy against traders. We will soon hold meeting with traders to chalk out strategy against suppressive policies of the authorities," Shah added.