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Traders from minority community planning to shift

Scared after communal violence which took place on August 9 and accusing the government of failing to provide them security, traders from the minority community are planning to move out of Kishtwar.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2013 20:50 IST
HT Correspondent

Scared after communal violence which took place on August 9 and accusing the government of failing to provide them security, traders from the minority community are planning to move out of Kishtwar.

They said after every five years they had to suffer similar acts of arson and looting. Talking to HT, Kishtwar Traders Association president Rakesh Gupta said, "We will have no option but to move out of this place if the state government does not take serious steps to provide security and pay compensation to us for the losses suffered by us."

"We want security and licensed weapons," he said, adding that members of the minority business community had incurred losses of around Rs 80 crore in the clashes. "If the government fails to fulfil our demands, we will migrate from Kishtwar."

Shopkeepers Bhushan Gupta and Vijay Gupta said it was fourth time that they were targeted. "There was total lawlessness as our shop, which was in front of police station, was looted and torched," they alleged, adding that a compensation of Rs 2 lakh as against loss to the tune of lakhs of rupees is a cruel joke.

Romesh Kumar Shan, a local hardware businessman, said in 1993, communal clashes occurred after the killing of prominent leader of the town, Satish Bhandari and the shops were looted. In 2003 again the traders of minority community suffered.

On August 12, 2008, for the fourth time the town witnessed communal violence, which also claimed some lives besides causing extensive loss of property.

"Over 150 small and big business establishments are affected in the clashes on August 9. But the government will pay compensation in few lakhs only," he said. Khushi Ram Shan, whose two shops dealing in plywood retail and hardware was burnt down, said, "I have lost my entire business in a fire started by miscreants."

Vijay Kumar Parihar, who had recently obtained a loan to set up an eatery was cursing himself for having opened a business in Kishtwar. "My shop was set on fire and that was the death of my dream."