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On verge of extinction, famous old city market craves for Govt attention

‘Shopkeepers shifting to other places following decline in business’

Owais Gul

Srinagar, Jan 30: The century-old heritage market in the downtown area of Srinagar is at the verge of extinction as the government has failed to take requisite measures to keep the market afloat.

According to the news agency—KNO, the shopkeepers in the market said that majority businessmen have shifted to other places following the decline in business here.

“The increase in number of markets across the Valley is one of the major causes of the decline in the business in this market,” Muhammad Yaseen, one of the coppersmith at Zaina Kadal market told KNO.

Sitting idle at his old shop, located near Botshah Tomb, Yaseen said he is doing business in this market from the last 48 years.

However, he said over the years the business in the market has changed to a large extent.

“The only positive change that has taken place all these years was the road widening, otherwise the market has been neglected by all the successive governments to date,” Yaseen said.

About the decline in business, Yaseen said that after the opening of market places in every locality and district, people prefer to visit the markets closer to them.

“Many of the malls have also come up, which is the first preference for the people at present,” he said.

According to Yaseen, the modernization has affected the business of the old market and at the same time, the government didn’t pay attention to keep the market’s charm alive.

Mehraj-ud-din, a shoe seller in the old city market, said that as the government failed to give attention to the market, the shopkeepers here preferred to open up their business units at other places.

“The people have no need to visit old city markets as besides old shops, there is nothing. There was a time when people use to throng this market due to bus stand and a post office here, but not anymore,” he said.

“Government should open up offices in the old market and shift the bus stand back, to revive the market,” 70-year-old Mehraj-ud-din said.

Abdul Aziz Bazaz and his brother, sitting at their shop in Zaina Kadal, said that their ancestors used to sell Pashmina and other similar material at the shop almost 140 years ago.

“Due to some issues, we started the wholesale business of Kiryana items a century ago,” they said.

The duo said the time has changed in the last couple of decades.

“I remember the time when customers used to stay at our house for a night due to rush at the shop. But, today only a few customers visit throughout the day,” they said. “The market has lost its charm completely.”

They said the government six months back started a process of upgrading the market and came up with similar boards for the shopkeepers.

“This is the only visible step that government has taken to revive the old market over the years,” Bazaz brothers said.

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Pregnant woman killed, 2 injured as srinagar-bound ambulance meets with an accident in Ramban

(Asian News Hub) – An expecting woman got killed and two other persons received injuries after an ambulance they were on board met with an accident in Batote in Ramban district on Saturday afternoon.

Reports said that the ambulance driver purportedly lost control over the vehicle, enroute to SKIMS Srinagar from Doda. The vehicle rolled down a deep gorge, resulting in on spot death of a pregnant woman besides injuries to two other persons – said to attendants of the (now deceased) woman.

The identification of deceased woman or injured duo could not be immediately known.


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BSF, Pak Rangers resolve to maintain peace on border in first meeting after Ceasefire

Meeting held on Islamabad’s request, lodged strong protest over Drone activities: BSF

(Asian News Hub) – Border guards of India and Pakistan on Saturday resolved to remain committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border in Jammu.

Border Security Forces (BSF) said that Sector Command level meeting, first after New Delhi and Islamabad decided on steadfast holding of ceasefire, was held on request of Pakistan Rangers on International Border in Suchetgarh area of the Jammu.

The BSF delegation was led by Surjit Singh, DIG, Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers delegation was led by Brig Murad Hussain, sector commander Pakistan Rangers, Sialkot Sector , S P S Sandhu (DIG), a spokesman of the BSF, said in a statement cited by GNS.

“It was the first Sector Commander level meeting between two border guarding Forces, after declaration of cease fire agreement by DGMOs.”

“During meeting, Commanders of both the border guarding Forces, discussed various issues with main emphasis by BSF delegation on Pak Drone activities, (militant) activities by Pakistan from across the border, digging of tunnels by Pakistan and other issues related to Border management,” the spokesman said, adding, “A very strong protest was lodged by BSF delegates regarding drone activities by Pakistan authorities in Jammu area.”

The spokesman said both the forces “decided to re-energize instant communication between field Commanders, whenever required, to resolve the ops matters.”

“ Meeting was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere and both side agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the earlier DG level talks and committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border,” he added.


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Arms licence racket; Searches carried out at 40 location in J-K, Delhi: CBI

(Asian News Hub) – The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday said that it conducted raids at around 40 locations including official and residential premises of certain IAS and KAS officers in a case related to Arms license racket in Jammu and Kashmir.

CBI today conducted searches at around 40 locations including Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla, Delhi (at the official and residential premises of certain then public servants, including IAS, KAS officers, then DM, then ADM etc), around 20 gun houses, dealers in an on-going investigation of a case related to Arms licence racket.

CBI had registered two cases on the request of Jammu and Kashmir government and further notification from Government of India, and took over the investigation of FIR No. 18 of 2018 dated 17.05.2018 earlier registered at Police Station Vigilance Organisation Kashmir (VOK) and FIR No. 11 of 2018 dated 17.05.2018 of Police Station Vigilance Organisation Jammu (VOJ) on the allegations of bulk issuance of arms licenses in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir during the period 2012 to 2016.

CBI also collected documents pertaining to the issuance of said armed licences allegedly spread over 22 districts of J&K.

During investigation and scrutiny of documents, the role of certain gun dealers was found in connivance with the public servants i.e. the then DM and ADM of concerned District had allegedly issued such illegal arms licenses to the ineligible persons.

It was also alleged that the persons who got these licenses were not residents of the places from where the said arms licenses were issued.

Further investigation is going on.


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