A day after anti-sealing protests during Tuesday’s bandh, the families and friends of traders in posh south Delhi found themselves running from pillar to post to secure the release of their dear ones from Tihar jail.
Soon after learning that their relatives were sent to Tihar, they began thronging Patiala House court premises on Wednesday, looking for legal assistance. But it was only after a daylong wait that Special Executive Magistrate TR Mudgal started granting bail to the traders.
On Tuesday night, 76 traders — most of them residents of Green Park, Greater Kailash, Malviya Nagar and South Extension — were arrested and sent to Tihar Jail.
Many complained that till late Tuesday night they were not informed that their relatives had been taken to Tihar.
"Members of our families are not hardcore criminals. We have the right to information. Earlier, they told us that they were taking them to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium due to space constraint in the police station," said Dimpy Sehgal, whose husband was held along with 160 traders by police when they were protesting outside the MCD office in Green Park.
Most of the traders were detained at the Malviya Nagar police station around noon. Late in the night, they were sent to Tihar jail after a case of breach of peace was registered against them.
According to an eyewitness, by evening, police had released senior citizens and women.
It was a tough day for Gupta brothers. When police arrested their handicapped father, their mother was so shocked that she had to be admitted to hospital.
"My father Satish Gupta (56) is a handicapped. Despite my repeated request they did not release him," said Ankush Gupta, who owns a shop in Green Park. "Even my mother was roughed up by policemen. She was pushed to a corner when she tried to approach them for help. She fainted on the spot. We immediately took her to Fortis hospital where she was admitted," added Gupta. The Guptas also complained of police hitting them with batons.
The first ones to be granted bails were Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders and his three office bearers. Khandelwal was arrested from Maharani Bagh.