Protesting the entry of big retail companies in the fruits and vegetables market, traders vandalised Reliance Fresh stores across Varanasi and Lucknow on their opening day. They forced Reliance Retail Ltd staff to stay cooped in their stores for nearly an hour in Janakipuram and Alambagh while they chased away customers. There were angry demonstrations in front of the newly-opened outlets in Burlington and Adarsh Nagar and a Spencer’s retail store at Jankipuram.
The Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Mandal led by Banwarilal Kanchal has been supporting the protests. Nearly one lakh vegetable vendors went on strike a few days ago closing down vegetable mandis and stopping the sale of fruits and vegetables.
Groups of vegetable traders clarified that their anger was directed not only at RRL alone, but all retail players keen on entering the fruits and vegetables market. “However, vegetable and fruit merchants did not participate in the protests on Wednesday,” said Vegetable and Fruit Merchants' Association (Lucknow) president Brijendra Sonkar. “We will decide the future course of action after a meeting by the end of this month,” he added.