On the first day of the two-day strike announced by traders of the Diamond and Jewellery Associations to denounce the serial blasts on Wednesday evening and to mourn the death of innocent people in the grave attacks, around 50,000 units at Zaveri Bazaar kept themselves closed to customers, causing a loss of around Rs270 crore on Friday alone.
While the jewellery market will be functioning on Saturday, the diamond market will be closed for the second consecutive day on Saturday.
Kumar Jain, the vice-president of the jewellery association said, “I have around 30 persons working in my jewellery shop. However, after the bomb blasts only seven or eight have been reporting to work. Most of the people connected with the diamond and gold businesses are from Rajasthan and Gujarat. If we continue to lose men in such unfortunate incidents, it won’t be long before we all move back to our hometowns instead of staying in the city.”
He also went to say that the jewellery association had no qualms about paying security tax to the state government if that guarantees them protection.
None of the two associations have blamed the police for the lapse in security.
Instead, they said they would consider hiring a private security firm to man areas in Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House, together the biggest gold and diamond hub in the city.
“It is not the police but the higher-ups of the diamond market who should be blamed for the lack of security. The manpower in the police force is less and they cannot promise security of thousands of people all over the city,” said Hardik Hundia, a diamond market expert.
He added, “We had opted for a private security firm to keep the diamond market safe, which was funded by diamond merchants. However, some of them decided to opt out as they had their own private security and hence they did not want to pay extra.”