Srinagar, May 5: Shops and business establishments in the heart of the city remained shut on Tuesday as traders went on a protest against the government over its alleged failure to rehabilitate the merchants affected by last year's floods.
"Shops in and around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk were shut, while similar reports were received from other parts of the city," officials said. The strike has been was called by Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) coinciding with the re-opening of the Civil Secretariat here after remaining functional in winter capital Jammu for six months as part of the century-old practice of 'Darbar Move'.
The traders also took out a protest march from Budshah Chowk here towards the Civil Secretariat but were stopped by the police, officials added. Police resorted to fire tear gas shells and used batons to disperse the protesting traders as they persisted with the march, they said.
KTMF President Mohammad Yasin Khan said they would fight till each of the affected traders is rehabilitated with dignity.
"We are not demanding anything but which is our right. The government has done nothing to address our problems. We will continue our fight," he said.
Most of the trade bodies have supported the strike. However, transporters stayed away from the protest, ensuring normal movement of public transport.