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In Dadri, riot accused MLA backs bandh

BJP seeks CBI probe into Vijay Pandit murder, DIG says shops being forcibly closed by partymen.

Written by Siddhartha Gupta | Dadri |
Updated: June 13, 2014 5:47:28 am
Market was shut in the wake of Vijay Pandit’s murder last Saturday. ( Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav) Market was shut in the wake of Vijay Pandit’s murder last Saturday. ( Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

The market in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, has been shut for five days following the murder of BJP leader Vijay Pandit on Saturday. And if BJP MLA from UP and an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, Sangeet Som, has his way, it will remain so until a CBI inquiry is ordered into Pandit’s murder.

Som, who visited Dadri on Thursday, urged party workers and members of the Dadri Traders’ Association to continue with the shutdown. “I went there to meet party workers and Pandit’s family members. I expressed my support for the continuation of the bandh. A CBI inquiry should be ordered into this incident because police are behaving like members of the Samajwadi Party, shielding some politicians and making up some illogical story about how and why Pandit died,” Som said.

Local residents, meanwhile, complained that the bandh has severely affected their businesses and livelihoods. A few daily-wage labourers said they were finding it difficult to find work because of the shutdown.

On Thursday, a few people could be seen crowding around a couple of shops with shutters partially closed, discreetly buying supplies and groceries. “There is a group of around 15 youths who come on their motorcycles as soon as they are informed about any shop being open. Yesterday, they overturned a fruit-seller’s cart. Almost all his fruits were crushed,” the owner of a pharmacy said.

“They say the shutdown will continue until June 16. We understand the cause, but this is ridiculous. I have decided to open my shop for a while in the morning and evening. Let us see what they will do,” he said.

Local traders allege that the police do not take action against the troublemakers or take steps to protect the shopkeepers. According to K Satyanarayan, DIG (Meerut Range), over 400 perosnnel  have been deployed in the Dadri market. He said no complaints about troublemakers have reached him so far. “I would have taken action if anyone had come to me with a complaint. I met members of the Pandit family, the traders’ association and BJP leaders today. I told them that they were crossing all limits and that they can’t forcefully close shops,” Satyanarayan said.

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