A local traders’ body in Mussoorie has asked Kashmiris who sell garments from rented shops in the city to leave, accusing them of causing communal “disharmony,” according to a report by The Indian Express.
The report has come eight months after similar accusations were leveled against Kashmiri traders which were later proved wrong.
In June last year, some locals had claimed to have heard some Muslim youths shouting “Pakistan zindabad” slogans after a Champions Trophy cricket final in which India lost to Pakistan.
The traders’s body president Rajat Aggarwal, had then called a meeting which resolved that due to “the anti-national activity undertaken by local and Kashmiri youths on June 18”, the Kashmiris who had rented shops would be removed from their premises by February 2018.
However, the accusations against Kashmiri traders were proved wrong as the Mussoorie police had later clarified that no Kashmiri had been found involved in the alleged incident, and that the three youths who had raised the said slogans included two outsiders from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The issue was then resolved as the J&K government also intervened and asked the Uttarakhand government to ensure that Kashmiri traders were not troubled.
However, Agarwal has now said, “The local traders in Mussoorie want the Kashmiri traders to leave”. He cites “communal disharmony” as the reason for it.
“On Monday (February 26) we have called a meeting with owners who have rented their shops to the Kashmiri traders to discuss the issue,” said Agarwal, adding, “For a small town like Mussoorie, 18 new Kashmiri traders is a huge number.”
Aggarwal, however, added that their directive is not meant for the five-seven Kashmiri trader families who have been in Mussoorie for over five decades. “The old Kashmiri families are now a part of the town. They have never spread communal disharmony… We are not asking them to leave. It is these shops being rented by the new Kashmiri traders that are mushrooming in the town which the local traders want out.”