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Markets reopen in Delhi after 3-day traders' strike

Markets in the capital reopened on Thursday after a three-day strike that threw life totally out of gear.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2006 11:09 IST

Markets in the capital reopened on Thursday after a three-day strike that threw life totally out of gear but questions persisted on the future of the protest with traders' associations undecided about what to do next.

"All the markets are open today, but scores of trade associations will meet in the evening to decide the future course of action," said Deepak Arora, a member of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

Traders have been on the warpath seeking regularisation of illegal commercial establishments in residential areas.

Despite the relative calm, most private schools in the capital chose to stay closed on Thursday after Wednesday's violence.

Chaos had ruled in the city on Wednesday on day three of the strike when about 100 markets stayed closed. Thousands of protesters smashed vehicles, blocked roads and railway tracks, while the central government tried to cool tempers by pleading to the Supreme Court not to resume sealing operations.

Train traffic was disrupted, schools closed abruptly and people were stuck for hours in jams as the last day of the three-day strike to protest the sealing of unauthorised shops in residential colonies turned violent.

The situation caught schools that were working on Wednesday completely unawares. In many areas, parents were asked to take their wards home with bus operators refusing to ply and schools unwilling to take chances with the safety of the children.

However, the tension eased in the evening after it was declared that "there would be no sealing on Nov 2".

After a long meeting with civic authorities and top police officials, the Supreme Court appointed three-member committee directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) not to resume sealing from Thursday.

"The monitoring committee, after a meeting with top MCD officials decided that there will be no sealing from Thursday," said Deep Mathur, chief spokesperson of MCD.

He, however, added: "What will happen Friday onwards is still not clear."

First Published: Nov 02, 2006 11:09 IST