The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is observing a nationwide trade bandh today to express solidarity with the families of the CRPF personnel martyred in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14. The traders' body said in a statement yesterday that commercial markets will remain closed on Monday and there will be no business activity. CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal had added that during the shutdown, traders would observe a day-long fast and take out tribute marches in their respective states. However, essential items and public transport have been kept out of the Bharat Trade Bandh.
Traders in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, J&K and other states are supposed to participate in the trade bandh. KalingaTV reported that businesses across Odisha came to a standstill today in response to CAIT's call and different traders' associations in the state, too, extended their support to the bandh. In Guwahati, too, shutters are down in nearly 100 per cent of all retail outlets.
In the capital, all wholesale and retail markets are scheduled to observe the bandh. "Prominent markets, including Chandni Chowk, Khari Baoli, Kashmiri Gate, Chawri Bazar, Sadar Bazar, Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Rajouri Garden, Kamla Nagar, South Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Preet Vihar, Shahdara, Gandhi Nagar, etc, will be closed," said CAIT in a statement on Sunday.
On February 14, over 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district after a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a bus that was reportedly a part of a large convoy of 70 vehicles carrying more than 2,500 personnel. This is the deadliest terror attack on security forces in J&K and Pakistan-sponsored Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit has claimed responsibility.
According to Khandelwal, CAIT is also planning to organise substantial financial assistance for the families of the martyrs. "In the wake of China supporting Pakistan, the CAIT has decided to launch a national campaign to boycott Chinese goods," the statement added.
(Edited by Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal; with PTI inputs)