After the strike by the Herat money exchangers union over the kidnapping of a businessman, the union of gold sellers and jewelers on Wednesday also went on strike to protest the recent episodes of kidnappings of businessmen.
The business community in Herat has said that the armed robbers and kidnappers are threatening their businesses and they accuse the security agencies of not taking solid actions in response.
Meanwhile, security forces in Herat managed to rescue a businessman who was kidnapped two days ago.
Security officials in Herat have said that they have arrested 8 suspects in connection with the kidnapping.
“Kidnappers asked for one million dollars ransom,” said Mohammad Ismail, a businessman who was recovered by the security forces.
“The people are tired of armed robberies, kidnapping and targeted killings. What people want is security in Herat,” said Bahauddin Rahimi, the head of the Herat Money Exchangers Union.
“Since the start of the new year, 7 jewelers were kidnapped and two jewelers were killed, one jeweler is still with the kidnappers, the kidnappers have asked for $800,000, but the government has done nothing so far,” said Abdul Ahad, the head of Herat's jewelers' union.
“Our expectation from the central government, the governor of Herat and police chief is to ensure the security of people’s lives and property. There is the presence of illegal armed men inside the city,” said Esmatullah, a jeweler in Herat.
“We will continue our protests unless they come up with an alternative to this. There is need for security,” said Ghulam Sakhi Haidari, a jeweler in Herat.
What does the government in Herat say?
“We do not see any difference between armed robberies and kidnapping, in both cases, they want ransoms, over the past three months, from 5 criminal networks, we have dismantled three networks,” said Sayed Wahid Qatali, the governor of Herat.
Police in Herat said that only 8 people have been kidnapped in Herat since the start of the year, but the business community in Herat says that nine money exchangers and 7 jewelers were kidnapped in the past six months.