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Sealing: Delhi sees hundred protests

india Updated: Sep 19, 2006 20:14 IST
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Over 100 protest marches were held in different parts of the capital on Tuesday as traders and shopkeepers took to the streets opposing the ongoing drive to seal their establishments.

"We are organising protest marches and shopkeepers who want to close their shops can do so for a maximum time of two hours," said Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

"We are planning to block roads at all the places where protests are taking place. We believe that we will be able to influence the government to stop the sealing drive, which targets the trader community of the capital," said Khandelwal, participating in a protest march in Paharganj area of old Delhi.

He added that shops would be closed throughout the day on Wednesday to observe the strike called by the confederation.

Khandelwal said they were also preparing for the Supreme Court hearing on Septemer 25 to present their case before the bench.

"We are confident that the court would give us a patient hearing and would take a decision in favour of the traders," he said.

Meanwhile, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) continued to seal properties in 70 upmarket localities in the capital. Sealing squads targeted areas like Vasant Vihar and Malviya Nagar in south Delhi.

On Monday, MCD officials sealed 226 commercial establishments functioning illegally in residential areas. The establishments were sealed in the old quarters, and in the central, western, southern and southwest areas of the capital.

Civic authorities maintained that most of the properties they sealed were hazardous units, banquet halls and commercial establishments in residential localities.

Over 40,000 trading units, which earlier submitted affidavits in the Supreme Court saying they would shift their shops themselves, would also be sealed.

Delhi traders got a reprieve on Friday as authorities allowed businesses to function in residential premises on nearly 2,200 roads. Civic authorities have sealed over 1,600 commercial units in the past two weeks of the drive that started on September 1 following a Supreme Court directive.

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