Most of the business establishments in southern Gujarat’s Valsad town on Wednesday remained shut in response to a bandh called by various groups to protest the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims. Three persons from Valsad were among the seven pilgrims killed in the terror attack in Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday evening. While schools, colleges and offices remained open in Valsad town, most of the markets and other commercial areas wore a deserted look as the businessmen voluntarily decided to shut their shops in response to the bandh call. Valsad’s major business areas on M G Road, Azad Chowk, Tower road and vegetable markets remained totally shut.
“The shopkeepers decided to shut their establishments today over the Amarnath terror attack. Though schools, colleges and offices are open, all the major markets are closed,” Valsad Collector C R Kharsan said.
Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 injured when terrorists attacked a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday evening. The private luxury bus headed to Amarnath from Valsad with 54 passengers earlier this month.
Out of the seven victims, Laxmiben Patel, Surekha Patel and Ratilal Patel were from Valsad. The two other victims from the state were Champaben Prajapati from Gandevi in Navsari district and Sumitra Patel from Surat city.
Besides, two women, Usha Sonkar and Nirmala Thakor, both residents of Maharashtra, were also killed in the terror attack.
“This attack on Amarnath pilgrims is unacceptable. That is why all the shopkeepers in the city have come forward to join the bandh call to register the protest and express our respect to the deceased,” a shopkeeper on M G Road said.
“The Valsad bandh remained successful,” he said.
People from all communities have planned to gather at Azad Chowk to take out a silent rally in the evening to express solidarity with the victims.