Nearly 100 markets in the capital were shut on Friday as traders called for a 24-hour strike against the sealing of illegal commercial establishments in residential areas, but civic authorities said they would continue with the drive.
"Over 100 markets under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will remain shut today and we will stage sit-ins in our respective markets," said Ramesh Khanna, vice president of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
He said they would march from the MCD's headquarters in old quarters of the city to the Delhi Assembly.
Markets like South Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Vikas Marg, Rohini, Raja Garden, Karol Bagh would be shut through the day. However, markets under New Delhi Municipal Council like Connaught Place and Khan Market would operate as usual.
Heavy security personnel has been deployed across the city.
"Nearly 5,000 security personnel, including paramilitary forces, have been mobilised in several sensitive areas. Karol Bagh, Green Park, Rajouri Garden and Seelampur are among the localities we are particularly careful about," said a top police officer.
Schools functioned as normal. "After reviewing the situation, we decided not to issue any instructions to close schools as they have already suffered a lot. We don't want to aggravate the situation further," Delhi Education Secretary Reena Ray told IANS.
In the last two days, MCD squads have sealed showrooms, general stores, guesthouses and even a playschool in several upscale residential neighbourhoods. The main office of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, a nodal body regulating Indian telecom sector, in south Delhi's Safdarjung Enclave was de-sealed and given a month to relocate.
A total of 237 commercial establishments have been sealed so far since Wednesday.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had dismissed the petitions filed by the MCD and the central government and directed that sealing be resumed immediately.