Wholesale markets shut: protest against extortion mafia

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The country s key wholesales markets in the old city areas remained closed on Thursday in protest against the killings of traders and unprecedented increase in extortion by the outlaws. The protesting traders and businessmen also staged a sit-in on M. A. Jinnah Road and held demonstrations to condemn increasing lawlessness. About 250 different wholesales markets of old city area remained shut in protest against the fresh incident of killings of two traders in the area last evening, President Old City Traders Alliance, Jamil Paracha told Business Recorder. The protest caused a complete suspension of supply of grain, sugar, wheat, medicines, gold and jewellery, wood, steel, plastic and hard wares, ceramics and paints, fans, power generators, and other items of daily use to other parts of the city and up country. The angry traders staged a sit-in on M. A. Jinnah Road in front of Metadhar police station, besides carry out three rallies to protest the killings, lawlessness and rise in extortion by the criminals in the area. They also offered the funeral prayer of the slain traders in absentia on M. A. Jinnah Road. Traders were holding banners and placards demanding of the government to improve security in markets and clampdown on outlaws, besides chanting anti-extortionists slogans. Traders warned the government of mass agitation and shuttered-down strikes if it did not seriously make efforts to improve the city law and order. Traders now want Pakistan Army to take control of the city and salvage them from militants and extortionists and if army did not come today then we will hold it responsible for the whole chaos, Paracha added. He said the government should make serious efforts to restore peace in the city. He said traders would continue their protests against the lawlessness. He added a strategy would be evolved at the alliance meeting on next Sunday as how to cope with the difficult challenges. Frustration amongst traders is growing with each passing day because of government s irresponsible and none-serious attitude, he said. He said none of the government officials had visited the markets or the families of slain traders to show sympathy, saying the traders are blaming government for all the chaos in the city. Paracha said soon after traders concluded their protests, a group of militants came to Jodia Bazaar and hurled hand grenades, while extortionists abducted two traders at gunpoint from their shops in Gulistan-e-Johar for refusing to pay extortion.

Courtesy : Business Recorder

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