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'Whatever Happens, We Face Brunt of it', Say Anguished Kashmiri Traders as VHP Shuts Shops Down in UP

At the exhibition at Bareilly’s Urban Haat, craftsmen from all over the country put their products on display and 17 stalls belonged to Kashmiri traders. On learning about their stalls, VHP workers reached the venue.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:February 20, 2019, 9:45 AM IST
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'Whatever Happens, We Face Brunt of it', Say Anguished Kashmiri Traders as VHP Shuts Shops Down in UP
In Agra, some local hotels have barred the entry of Kashmiri people on their premises.
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Lucknow: In yet another incident of Kashmiris being subjected to harassment and intimidation after last week’s Pulwama terrorist attack, shopkeepers in Bareilly were on Tuesday forced by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers to shut their stalls at a handicraft exhibition in the presence of police.

Earlier, the VHP workers had forcibly closed down Kashmiri stalls at an exhibition in Faridpur, Bareilly.

At the exhibition at Bareilly’s Urban Haat, craftsmen from all over the country put their products on display and 17 stalls belonged to Kashmiri traders. On learning about their stalls, VHP workers reached the venue.

“These people pelt stones on our soldiers and earn money here. We will not let them function in Bareilly. We will also complain to the DM and SSP about them. Their IDs should also be checked for terror links,” said VHP leader Divya Chaturvedi.

Saleem, an anguished shopkeeper, said the traders have been away from their homes for quite a while and travel across the country through the year to earn a living. “We mostly travel for 11 months all over the country and earn our livelihood by selling Kashmiri handicraft items. We only go back in Ramzan. It has been more than a decade since we moved out to earn our livelihood,” he said.

Another shopkeeper, Ajaz, said, “Whatever has happened in Kashmir is wrong, but ultimately we have to suffer. I have been going to handicraft exhibitions all over the country for the last 10 years.”

Meanwhile, in Agra, some local hotels have barred the entry of Kashmiri people on their premises. Rohit Soni, a local hotelier, said, “These Kashmiris help Pakistani people in attacking our forces. Till the time the situation improves we will not rent rooms to Kashmiris in our hotel.”
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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