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Hyderabad's oldest book market razed

Shop owners were seen crying when MCH employees forcibly dumped books in vehicles and bulldozed all the 104 shops.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 20:37 IST

Books lay scattered on the road and shop owners were reduced to tears as south India's biggest second hand book market here was Monday razed by civic authorities following directions of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

Those who tried to resist attempts to demolish the 104 roadside shops, frequented by students hunting for cheap textbooks, in the busy Koti area in the heart of Hyderabad were arrested.

Fearing that the move to shift them to other places would badly affect their business, some shop owners could be seen crying when municipal employees forcibly dumped books in vehicles and bulldozed the structures.

Raising slogans against the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) and the court order, they squatted on the road but were removed by police.

As the deadline set by the High Court to clear the pavement ended on Monday, the MCH and police swung into action to demolish the three-decade-old market. They had earlier served notices to the owners of bookstalls to vacate the area.

The shop owners, who had successfully resisted the attempts by MCH to raze the market in the past, tried to resist the demolition but were unsuccessful.

"We were shifting peacefully but they (MCH employees and police) are creating problems," alleged Syed Abrar Hussain, secretary of the booksellers' association.

While 72 shop owners have been provided space in the MCH market in nearby Sultan Bazar area, the remaining shops are being shifted to the subway in Koti. However, the shop owners claimed this would badly affect their business.

They did not agree that their shops hindered the smooth flow of traffic.

First Published: Nov 06, 2006 16:23 IST