As Kashmir is observing a shutdown on the first anniversary of September 2014 devastating floods on Monday, the J&K police have detained separatists and trade leaders ahead of their protest program in the business nerve centre Lal Chowk.
The shutdown call was given by Kashmir Economic Alliance, a coalition of trade bodies in Kashmir. The mainstream and separatist parties had also supported the call.
“Chairman KEA Showkat Chowdhary was arrested in the wee hours today and lodged at Police Station Zakura,” a statement issued by KEA said. “KEA had announced to assemble at Lalchowk and protest against the anti-Kashmir policies of State and central Government.”
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President, Kashmir Traders and Manufactured Federation, Mohammed Yaseen Khan, said that several leaders of the business community have been arrested. “Police raided my house today morning and I was taken to Kothi Bagh police station,” he said. “Many of our leaders have been arrested.”
In Srinagar, all the business establishments and shops are closed and public transport is also off the roads.
J&K Police on Sunday had denied permission to traders to hold protests in Lal Chowk.
A senior police officer told The Indian Express that the police denied permission to Kashmir Economic Alliance for protests near the clock tower in the business hub Lal Chowk. “We offered them Sheri Kashmir Park as the venue, but they declined,” the officer said.