Traders clashed with police here on Tuesday after marching towards the secretariat to denounce the government’s failure to compensate them following last year’s devastating floods.
Police intercepted the traders near Budshah Chowk, resulting in clashes between police and stone-pelting youths who joined the former from Maisuma locality.
Police used tear smoke shells to quell the protesters.
The Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) and other trade bodies had called for a strike on Tuesday to mark the opening of the Jammu and Kashmir government secretariat in this summer capital of the state.
"Eight months have passed since the September floods. But the state and central governments have failed to compensate us for the looses we suffered," KTMF president Muhammad Yasin Khan told IANS.
"Despite various meetings, the government has failed to take any concrete step for our rehabilitation. We have received only hollow assurances," he said.
The traders say that both the state and central governments were biased against the traders.
"We are not beggars. Till the floods we were the highest tax payers. We will fight for our cause till each one of us (trader) is rehabilitated with dignity," a trader said.
The flood-affected traders’ community has pegged its losses at around Rs.30,000 crore. The 2014 floods affected more than 65,000 businesses, the association says.