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regular-article-logo Friday, 31 May 2024

‘Many of them have been luring our daughters’: Muslim traders get ouster notice

'The registrations of 91 shops were cancelled after consulting the local administration and their owners were asked to leave the area. Many of them have been luring our daughters'

Piyush Srivastava Lucknow Published 18.03.24, 05:18 AM
Dhami in New Delhi on Sunday.

Dhami in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI picture.

The local traders’ association has cancelled the registrations of 91 shops in Uttarakhand’s Dharchula after a minority community youth who used to work at a barber shop eloped with two girls to his home state of Uttar Pradesh.

Mahesh Gabrayal, general secretary of the Dharchula Vyapar Mandal, said: “The registrations of 91 shops were cancelled after consulting the local administration and their owners were asked to leave the area. Many of them have been luring our daughters.

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"A barber from Bareilly enticed two minor girls and took them away last month. Thereafter, we identified 91 shopkeepers who were doing business here illegally. They didn’t register with the Vyapar Mandal, which is mandatory in Uttarakhand.”

He said the 91 shopkeepers — all of them from western Uttar Pradesh and belonging to the minority community — were told to leave the area immediately because agitated residents were organising marches against the “illegal shops” every day.

Gabrayal said the association had also decided to cancel the registration of all the traders who came here from other states before 2000.

“A total of 175 businessmen from the town have been identified so far. They all belong to western Uttar Pradesh. Local youths will be able to start businesses and earn a livelihood if we remove the outsiders from here,” he said.

Riyaz Ahmad, one of the shopkeepers, said: “Such an atrocity against traders from one particular community is wrong. All of them cannot be punished for the crime of one person. We don’t support the barber with whom the girls eloped. We have closed our shops but request the government to discuss the matter with the association and resolve it.”

A delegation of the affected traders met administrative officials of Pithoragarh district, under which Dharchula falls, and requested that they be allowed to continue their business.

Manjit Singh, sub-divisional magistrate of Dharchula, said: “We appeal to the people to maintain peace. The shopkeepers have raised some issues and we will discuss them with the leaders of their association soon.”

Many feel the issue could be a political plank to polarise Hindu voters in the Almora parliamentary constituency, in which Pithoragarh falls. Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami represents the adjoining Champawat seat in the Assembly.

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