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‘Outsider’ traders forced to close their shop in Dharchula town of Pithoragarh

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‘Outsider’ traders forced to close their shop in Dharchula town of Pithoragarh

B.D. Kasniyal

Pithoragarh, March 18

A total of 91 shopkeepers of Dharchula town of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, majority of them belonging to the minority Muslim community have been forced by the local traders body to close their establishments on the pretext of being “outsiders”. Most of the shops belonging to such “outsiders” are closed for the past few days.

Meanwhile, Manjit Singh, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dharchula claimed that the 91 shopkeepers of Dharchula town, whose membership of local  trader’s body  has been cancelled on pretext of their being ‘outsiders’, are being given full security by district administration.

Locals taking out a procession against ‘outsider’ traders in Dharchula town of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.

Dharchula Vyapar Sangh, the traders’ body representative of over 600 traders of the town, has cancelled members of some 91 traders as it has decided to register only local traders. “The traders from outside the state are involved in criminal activities that is not tolerable in this sensitive border town,” said Mahesh Garbiyal, secretary of Dharchula Vyapar Sangh.

According to Garbiyal, the decision was taken after two local minor girls eloped with  two Muslim youth from Bareilly on the pretext of marrying them, in February this year. The girls were recovered from Bareilly and the youth arrested. Earlier, In May-June 2023, Muslim traders from Purola town of Uttarkashi district were ordered to go by the local traders and right wing organisations following a similar incident in which a minor girl was seen talking to two youth. Interestingly, one of the youth was a Muslim. The BJP, RSS and other right wing organisations had charged Muslim youth of indulging in ‘Love Jehad’. The issue died down after cognizance by Nainital High court.

According to Dharchula SDM, the traders from outside Dharchula have kept their shops closed for the past three days but none of them have left the place.”Despite the ouster call given to these traders by Vyapar Sangh, no local landlord has come forward in support of the cal. No one intends to oust their tenents,” said the SDM.

Local women protesting against ‘outsiders’ in Dharchula town of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.

After the imposition of election code of conduct from Saturday evening, the local administration has cautioned the public against indulging in any  unlawful activities. “We have even today cautioned the people against violating the election code of conduct,” said the SDM.

Pithoragarh District Magistrate Reena Joshi said that the traders who have been ordered to be ousted, will be given full security by the administration.” We have even registered a FIR against such elements who are creating such unlawfully atmosphere in Dharchula town,” said the DM.


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