At least six persons were injured when the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse agitating traders who were protesting against the Noida authority's sealing drive on commercial activities in industrial sectors.
General secretary of Janata Shed Association, a traders' body, Satya Narayan Goyal has sustained serious head injuries. He has been admitted to Kailash Hospital.
"We had organised a peaceful protest. We wanted to put across our demand of converting land use from industrial to mixed use before the authority. But policemen resorted to lathicharge. Many traders were injured," 40-year-old Goyal said. He has demanded that the state government and the authority's senior officers address the traders' grievances.
A group of traders from Sector 9 had organised a protest against the authority at Sector 19-20 crossing near BSNL telephone exchange at 10.30am when the police used force.
Protesting against police high-handedness, the traders closed their shops. "In Sector 1-10, there are industrial plots measuring 50 to 120 metres. It is not possible to run an industry from such small portions of land. Therefore, the authority should change the land use," said Anil Gupta, a trader.
However, the police have refuted these charges. "There was no lathicharge at all. Traders had blocked traffic and the police tried to stop them. In the process, some traders might have been injured," said S Chanappa, circle officer 1.
There are 1,000 traders in sectors 1-10 who run commercial units, which supply raw materials to over 6,000 industries in Noida.
The authority has served notices to the traders, asking them to stop their activities. The authority officials say these commercial units will be sealed as per the Supreme Court directive if traders do not abide by the notice.
"Noida has no market where we can run the units to supply raw materials to the 6,000 industries. Either the authority should change the land use from industrial to mix (commercial and industrial), or come up with an alternative market option. The Noida master plan is faulty," said Vipin Malhan, president of Noida Entrepreneurs' Association.