GST in Jammu and Kashmir: Chaos outside Assembly as MLA Engineer Rashid leads traders' protest

Jammu and Kashmir traders' groups held a protest outside the Assembly after the House moved resolution on 101st amendment to facilitate Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout in the state.

The protests, led by local MLA Engineer Rashid — also known as Sheikh Abdul Rashid — of the Awami Itihad Party, turned violent after the police tried to disrupt the march, according to CNN-News18. The MLA is against implementation of a standard Indian taxation law in the state which enjoys a special status under the Constitution. Rashid has been detained by the police to control the situation.

Security personnel detain traders during a protest against the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) during Special Session of Legislative Assembly, in Srinagar on Tuesday. PTI

Security personnel detain traders during a protest against the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). PTI

Rashid has been vociferously opposing the implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir. On Tuesday, the state government moved the resolution seeking suggestions from the lawmakers on how to implement GST to ensure that the special status under Article 370 of the Constitution is not affected.

However, Rashid said, “The GST crisis has exposed Indian claims that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Jammu and Kashmir is not India and India is not Jammu and Kashmir. The state is neither an integral part nor Pakistan’s jugular vein, but the territory on both sides including Gilgit-Baltistan is a disputed territory and hollow claims cannot make it an integral part of anything.’’

Rashid also said that both Salahuddin and Musa were not terrorists and that India was “illegally’’ occupying Kashmir, which also drew support from the National Conference.

His comments triggered chaos in Assembly, with one member even demanding that Rashid should be hanged for his anti-India ideology.

Meanwhile, traders' protest held Tuesday were foiled by the police after the traders attempted to march into the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

The traders were detained near the gate of the Civil Secretariat complex, which also houses the Assembly.

The traders were scheduled to hold a sit-in near the Assembly to protest the implementation of the GST, claiming it would lead to the erosion of the state's special position and its fiscal autonomy.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 05, 2017 10:55 AM

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