M A I N   N E W S

3 shot, 100 hurt in Delhi
* Bandh by traders turns violent *Metro services affected
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 20
Three persons, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed and 100, including security personnel, injured as the traders’ bandh against the MCD’s sealing drive turned violent in many parts of the Capital today.

The boy has been identified as Ashraf. The bodies have been kept at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital. “They were brought dead,” a source in the hospital.

The situation was tense from the beginning when the traders shut down their shops in support of the call given by the Confederation of All-India Traders. Traders raised slogans against the MCD’s drive. When the police asked them to go inside their houses, the mob pelted the police with stones. To disperse the mob, the police fired several rounds in which two persons were killed and 100 injured, including 50 policemen.

The police said they fired in the air to disperse the mob. However, eye-witnesses said the police hit the mob directly.

In the stone pelting the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Davesh Srivastava, was also injured. His vehicle and the official vehicle of the SHO, Seelampur police station, were damaged.

All major markets and others commercial areas were completely closed.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (north-east) Rajeev Ranjan said the mob was armed with country-made pistols, bricks and rods.

He said, “this violence is not related to the bandh. The bandh was peaceful. The traders were winding up their protest by 11.30 a.m. I do not know how the violence happened. It seems that some antisocial elements took advantage and created the flare-up,” he said.

The protestors also destroyed railings on the divider and traffic lights along the 5-km stretch from Seelampur to Maujpur.

A cameraman of a local news channel was also injured when the police manhandled him while shooting the visual of police action.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) suspended its services from Shastri Park Metro Station to Shahadar after mob threw stones on trains and broke windows. The train services were suspended from 4 P.M.

There was chaos at the Shastri Park station as passengers were asked get off the train and get a refund of their tickets.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of All-India Traders, claimed that wholesale markets in the Capital including Chandni Chowk, Kamla Nagar, Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazar, South Extension, Greater Kailash, Green Park, Shahdara, Rohini and other places were closed.

However, Connaught Place and Khan Market were open with most of the shopkeepers not joining the bandh.

Traffic was blocked in several areas like Vikas Marg near Preet Vihar, Rohini, Jail Road, Madhuban Chowk, Palam-Dabri road, Ashram, Chirag Delhi and South Extension.

“Though we have sympathies with them (protesting traders ), we don’t want to be part anything which is illegal,” said Sanjiv Mehra , president of Khan Market Traders Association.

“The bandh has caused a business loss of about Rs 200 crore and a revenue loss to about Rs 15 crore to the Delhi Government today,” said general secretary of the confederation Praveen Khandelwal.



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