Updated: March 9, 2018 10:23:22 am
Of the 700-plus shops at south Delhi’s Amar Colony market, about 400 were sealed by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Thursday, with traders alleging lathicharge by police officers. Known best as a hub for women’s wear, shutters were downed on ground-floor shops selling garments and food as well as confectionery stores.
“We were not sent any notice or shown any orders. Police came at 10 am and beat up people, including women. We have paid conversion charges, we have trade licences and GST numbers… they didn’t listen to us,” alleged Kamal Chawla (34), who runs a garment shop.
Chawla’s family has been running the shop since 1980. He alleged that an employee, Parvez, was among those beaten up by police.
Another trader, Ujjwal Madan (25), who runs a kurti store, said, “Each shop employs seven-eight people… A lot of people lost their livelihood today. Nowhere in Delhi were ground floors sealed… we don’t understand the logic.”
Madan also said his uncle, who runs a shop nearby, was “lathicharged and admitted to AIIMS Trauma Centre”. He also alleged that a clinic, a playschool and tuition centres were sealed.
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Allegations also emerged that a photographer with a Hindi daily was manhandled and made to delete photos of the alleged assault by police.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast district) Chinmoy Biswal said, “We were trying to stop them (traders) from blocking the Ring Road. No one was beaten up by us. We are conducting an inquiry in connection with the case of a photographer being manhandled.”
In a statement, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari condemned the “high-handed behaviour by police officers against traders and mediapersons”.
He said, “Today’s sealing was at the behest of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee. We understand the legal problem of civic and police officers to implement the committee’s directions, but it is a grave humanitarian issue involving lakhs of families, and police should stay away from use of force on traders.”
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