SRINAGAR, Apr 22: Scores of traders affiliated with the Salamabad Cross-LoC Traders Union today held protest against the suspension of the Cross LoC trade and demanded its immediate resumption.
The traders assembled at Press Enclave in Partap Park, Srinagar here and protested against the suspension of LoC trade. They raised slogans in favour of their demands and carried placards that read “We Want Justice”, and “Resume Trade”, “Don’t Play With Our Fate”.
The protestors said sudden suspension did not allow them to clear liabilities and goods worth crores of rupees were languishing across the border. “The trade is based on a barter system. Across the border, our goods are languishing. We do not have any banking facilities,” Hilal Ahmed, Chairman Cross LoC Traders Association said, adding that it was the traders demand from day first to provide the full-proof mechanism to the traders operating across the border.
Click here to watch video
Union Home Ministry last week suspended trade across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was being used by “unscrupulous and anti-national elements” for sneaking in hawala money and weapons from across the border.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries also joined in the protests to extend their support. “We have come here to support LoC traders. The move is totally wrong as the trade has been going on for last 11-years. Thousands of people are involved with it, ” Senior vice president KCCI, Nasir Hameed Khan said, adding “if there was any loophole or someone was abusing or misusing the system, government should take action”.
He, however, questioned why were SOPS not framed in the last eleven years? “Since 2015 there is a demand of installing scanners. If there has been manipulation anywhere Government should expose the beneficiaries. Why is Government penalizing the genuine traders whose credentials have been checked regularly?” he said.
Meanwhile, the traders appealed the Government to reconsider the suspension order as thousands of people are associated with it.