A day after, calm but cagey

Updated on Sep 29, 2008 12:26 AM IST

A day after the blast, an eerie calm had descended on the usually chaotic street that runs through the congested Serai market of Mehrauli, reports Sidhartha Roy.

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Hindustan Times | BySidhartha Roy, New Delhi

A day after the blast, an eerie calm had descended on the usually chaotic street that runs through the congested Serai market of Mehrauli. It is a calm that the residents of Mehrauli want replaced as soon as possible by the din they have known all their lives.

From the small stalls selling flowers to showrooms dealing in electronic goods, the serpentine row of shops that make up the Mehrauli main bazaar, almost all were closed. Except for a few chemists, grocery stores and butcher shops.

Entry to the market from the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road is barricaded and heavily guarded by police. Small groups of policemen were also posted across the market, at strategic points.

While the whole market wore a desolate look, time seems to have stopped at the blast spot. Shards of glass, plastic and metal lay brushed along the street corner and shutters have been put down on shops that suffered damage.

“I’m not scared by the blasts, life has to go on,” said Amit Pasricha, who has been running his chemist shop in the market for the last 20 years. “I have never felt unsafe here before and there is no reason I should now. Policemen patrol the area regularly and even at night,” he said.

Another visibly angry shop owner, who refused to give his name, said the blasts shouldn’t affect their livelihoods.

“Our shops are closed and the whole area is full of policemen, media people and curious onlookers. When the police knew that Mehrauli is the next terror target, why didn’t they increase the security of our market?” he said.

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