Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Traders’ shutdown complete in many states

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NEW DELHI: Traders across the country have downed their shutters to join the protest against government’s decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail.

The impact of the strike has been visible in several cities. In some cities, shopkeepers took out marches demanding a rollback of the government move.

In Maharashtra, around 35 lakh small and medium traders have kept their shops shut in response to the bandh.

“We have received good response for the bandh in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai as traders of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) have joined call to support the one-day bandh. Major markets of grain, fruits and vegetables, onion and potato and ‘kirana’ have observed bandh today,” said federation of associations of maharashtra (FAM) president Mohan Gurnani.

In Delhi, big markets like Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazar, Kamla Nagar, Chawri Bazar, Kashmere Gate, Tilak Nagar, Rohini, Krishna Nagar and Greater Kailash M Block remained closed while Sarojini Nagar and INA markets functioned as usual.

BJP also joined the strike by organising marches and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit in at least 20 locations of the city.

Most shops and establishments in West Bengal, including the wholesale market in Posta area of Burrabazar, downed their shutters.

In Bangalore, nearly 1 lakh shops are closed due to the strike. Many busy markets wore a deserted look.

Tripura also observed a total shut-down. Official reports said not a single shop was open anywhere in the state.

In Lucknow, Samajwadi Party workers protested on the streets burning effigies. Extending support to the all-India strike, hundreds of Samajwadi workers — particularly from the party’s youth wing — gathered near the state assembly and forced their way through the barriers at the site.

The police had to use force to disperse them.

In Himachal Pradesh also traders have responded to the bandh call in a big way.

Workers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP)in the state and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) joined the traders to protest the Centre’s FDI decision.

However, the response to the bandh in Bihar, according to agency reports, has been muted with most of the major markets open.

The ruling NDA in Bihar has extended support to the bandh while Congress and LJP are opposed.

The bandh is so far peaceful, director general of police Abhayanand said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said he would not allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail sector in Bihar. (Agencies)

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