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Protest against ‘outsiders’ continue at Dharchula town of Pithoragarh district

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Protest against ‘outsiders’ continue at Dharchula town of Pithoragarh district

B.D. Kasniyal

Pithoragarh, Mar 1

Demanding ouster of traders who have settled in Dharchula town of Pithoragarh district on the border with Nepal, after the year 2000, and are involved in alleged anti-social activities, the local traders took a procession in the town on last day of February, and handed over a memorandum to SDM in support of their demand of ouster of such traders within 15 days time.  This was the second such protest demonstration in the town since two youth eloped with two minor local girls to Uttar Pradesh last month. Both the girls were recovered by the police. The two youth who were arrested were Muslims.

“We want the administration to prepare a list of such people, who have registered themselves as traders but are actually not involved in any profession. Such elements are anti-social elements and are to be watched from the this tri- border town,” said Mahesh Singh Garbiyal, general Secretary of Vyapar Sangh, Dharchula.

The trader’s body said that only a day before they have compiled a list of  510 traders registered as traders in Dharchula, out of these 197 are from outside the state.”Some of these traders are actually not doing trade but involved in other than trade work,” said trade union official.

The local traders, who gathered at Gandhi Chowk of the town took the procession up to the office of SDM  via Vivekanand Chowk, Ghatdhar, Malli Bazar and Atal Chowk and later submitting their memorandum to Manjit Singh, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Dharchula.

“The resentment of the event that occured in the first week, in which two minors were lured to Bareilly by outside traders in Dharchula, continue to simmer as locals are against those who are allegedly involved in any illegal activity  in this border town. We have appealed for maintaining peace and things will be settled with peaceful means according to law,” said Manjit Singh, SDM, Dharchula.

Locals taking out a protest demonstration seeking ousters of outsiders from Dharchula town of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand on February 29,2024.

The local traders have said that the recent influx of outside traders has not only affected the business of local traders but also posed a threat to the security of this  sensitive border town. “They are paying ‘Pagri’ ( advance money equal to several year’s rent of shop) to local shop owners and making it difficult for poor local traders to take shop on rent,” charged  Mahesh Singh Garbiyal.

Dhan Singh Dhami, block pramukh of Dharchula block said that the agitation is not against any person, caste or religion but it reflects the concern of local community of the rapid  socio cultural and economic changes  being faced in the last 20 years due to influx of outsiders to this border town.” The economy of local traders has changed due to  their entry to hitherto local nature of Dharchula market,” said Dhan Singh Dhami.

The police have made elaborate arrangements for the protest.” We have deputed over 100 police personals and SSB jawans on procession route to maintain law and order situation during the protest,”said the SDM.



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