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Traders hit the road, on foot, in cars

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 15:24 IST
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The second day of the 72-hour bandh called by city traders remained peaceful but a large number of rallies and protests led to traffic snarls in many parts of the city.

Metro services that were suspended between Kashmere Gate and Vishwa Vidyalaya on Monday as a precautionary measure returned to normal on Tuesday.

Most markets remained closed but some like those in Connaught Place, Janpath, the Khan Market and the Defence Colony Market were open. Some of the major markets that remained closed were Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, South Extension, Rajouri Garden, Paharganj and Karol Bagh.

Although there were traffic snarls in almost all parts of the capital, the number of vehicles on roads were much less as people preferred to stay indoors.

The protests in south Delhi were peaceful. Traders in different markets sat on a dharna. A car rally was taken out by the traders of Lajpat Nagar in the morning that proceeded via Bhogal and Nizamuddin area.

The traders of Greater Kailash Part-I have decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike from Wednesday. "We do not want any temporary relief from the government but a permanent solution and until that happens, we would not call off the strike," said Arun Gupta, president, GK-I main road traders and professionals association.

The most number of protest rallies on Tuesday were organised in west Delhi where market associations of Rajouri Garden, Tilak Nagar, Uttam Nagar, Jail Road, Ganesh Nagar, Janakpuri, Moti Nagar and other areas took out rallies and also blocked traffic at some places.

Traders also blocked the main road near Azad market, leading to a huge traffic jam, and burnt effigies of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

At Janakpuri, protesters forced shops that had opened, including chemist shops, to down their shutters.

A similar scene was witnessed at a protest rally in Rajouri Garden where traders were shouting into loudspeakers, asking some of the shops and offices that were open to close.

Traffic movement was paralysed in most parts of west Delhi as at some places like the Pusa Road Chowk and Shadi Khamupur traders blocked roads.

"I had to go to the Shadipur bus depot but had to take a detour from Pusa Road Chowk, reach Moti Nagar and then come back to the depot," said Ashok Kumar, a Yamuna Vihar resident.

Traffic was hit in east Delhi also where dharnas and protest rallies led to acute traffic snarls on the Vikas Marg and Karkari More.

A huge rally that was taken out from Kailash Nagar to Jagatpuri led to the traffic jam. Protesters also stopped traffic near Laxmi Nagar and Karkari More.

Effigies were burnt at the Seelampur market but the protests did not turn ugly. The area had witnessed violence during the last bandh called by traders on September 20 when five people were killed and many were injured.

Traders plan to carry out similar dharnas, protests and rallies all over the capital on Wednesday but there would be a candle light march by traders from Red Fort to Town Hall in Chandni Chowk in the evening as a finale to the three-day bandh.

A huge rally has been planned in south Delhi, which would start from Malviya Nagar and go via Green Park, Hauz Khas, South Extension, Lajpat Nagar and end at Greater Kailash.

The traders of Seelampur have planned to form a human chain to protest the sealing drive.

Email: sidhartha .roy@hindustantimes.com

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