PoK: Traders observe shutter-down strike, clash with police in Muzaffarabad
Traders in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir's Muzaffarabad region on Saturday observed a shutter-down strike to demonstrate against heavy-handedness meted out to protesters in different Kashmir cities in recent days.
The traders began shutting down shops after Shaukat Nawaz Mir, the president of the traders’ body in Muzaffarabad, announced they would protest in the region.
Authorities had launched an operation against the protesters who staged sit-ins at Rawalakot, Bagh and Kotli of Kashmir against hiked electricity bills.
The police tried to stifle the protest by bringing down the camp of the protesters set up at the Azadi Chowk early morning.
Several leaders of the trading community, along with protesters, were arrested from the site of the protest.
A huge contingent of police was deployed in an attempt to stop the protesters from coming onto the main roads, as the situation was getting tense.
The police used tear gas and batons against the protesters after clashes broke out.
Reports said at least five people were arrested including Faisal Jameel Kashmiri, a member of the Awami Action Committee.
The clashes caused more people to take to the streets and the situation remained tense as of Saturday noon.