Day three of the traders' strike started off on a violent note on Wednesday with protest rallies, road blockades and incidents of buses being stoned and windowpanes getting smashed in several parts of the capital.
While the first two days of the strike to protest the sealing of unauthorised shops went off relatively peacefully, there was chaos right from the morning Wednesday with hundreds of traders blocking traffic and puncturing tyres near Mayur Vihar, Patparganj and the Akshardham temple in east Delhi.
Police said protest rallies were also carried out in Vikas Marg and Malviya Nagar in south Delhi with more demonstrations scheduled through the day as traders intensified their agitation against the court directive to seal commercial establishments in residential areas.
Traders told reporters that they would carry out road blockades throughout the city.
"We will block traffic and march in rallies in several parts of Delhi. We should not be held responsible for the inconvenience. We are appealing to the authorities to not snatch away our livelihood," said a trader.
The early morning chaos hit commuters and children on their way from home to offices and schools.
"Over 100 traders and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters stopped traffic, resulting in a huge jam," said Rohit Goel, who was on his way from Patparganj to his office in Connaught Place.
"Traders are forcing people to stay indoors. They also entered some buses and forced passengers to get down. Some windowpanes were also smashed," he said.
According to Ajit Kumar, a teacher in Patparganj, unruly traders were puncturing cars and bikes. "And police is yet to swing into action and clear the roads," Kumar said.
On Tuesday, the three-member Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee directed the capital's civic authorities to resume the sealing drive against illegal commercial units in residential areas from Thursday.
Earlier, it was supposed to start from November 1.
"The monitoring committee today decided that there will be no sealing of properties tomorrow in view of the shutdown called by traders," a top MCD official said citing the directive.
About 100 markets, including major ones like Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Khari Baoli, Chawri Bazar, South Extension, Paharganj and Lajpat Nagar, have been shut for the last two days.