Kashmir traders marked the first anniversary of the 2014 floods in the state Monday by observing a shutdown in protest of the Centre’s “failure” to rehabilitate victims of the calamity. Several separatist and trade body leaders were arrested as police tried to foil the scheduled protests in the region. The shutdown call, given by Kashmir Economic Alliance, a coalition of trade bodies, was supported by several mainstream and separatist parties.
Since Monday morning, policemen raided the houses of most trade body leaders and lodged them at police stations.
Separatist leaders including Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar and JKLF chief Yasin Malik were put under detention.
Kashmir Traders and Manufacturer Federation president Mohammed Yasin Khan, who was arrested, said government’s reaction to the protest call was “unfortunate”. “We were not stone pelters or politicians. Hundreds were arrested and the protests were not allowed, it is very unfortunate,” he said.
Former CM and NC working president Omar Abdullah slammed the state government for detaining trade body leaders. “All these people wanted to do was register their dissatisfaction at the absence of any meaningful flood relief. Shame on Mufti the Dictator,” he tweeted.
Under criticism for detaining trade body leaders, the state government said rehabilitation of flood victims was “a work in progress”.