As most of the villages in the district have decided not to celebrate Diwali due to incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, the business of many firecracker sellers, both wholesalers and retailers, in rural areas has been affected adversely.
Many local religious regional bodies have asked the people not to celebrate Diwali this time.
Firecracker sellers in Talwandi Sabo, Goniana, Rama Mandi, Rampura and other nearby towns have been feeling the pinch.
However, besides the cracker market, shops of other Diwali related items are also getting very few customers compared to those in the previous years.
Ranjeet Kumar, who owns a firecracker shop in Raman Mandi, said there used to be a heavy rush two days ahead of Diwali, but this time, the whole market is still waiting for customers.
“We are totally dependent upon rural customers, but this time not many of them are visible so far. We were expecting a lucrative business this time, but the protests over desecration incidents have dashed our hopes,” Kumar said.
Balwinder Singh, a resident of Kot Shamir, said the religious organisations have been making announcements on loudspeakers daily appealing people not to celebrate Diwali in protest against the sacrilege of the holy book.
However, things are different in the city, where markets have been witnessing a heavy rush of customers for the past two days.
Even the firecracker market, set up in the premises of the main sports stadium, witnessed a rush of customers.
Sonu Maheswari, a firecracker wholesaler, said though their business has been affected due to low sale in rural areas, but residents of the city are purchasing crackers like last year.
“We set our kiosk on Monday only and have got a good response of customers,” he said.
However, he said that the number of rural customers is much less.