M A I N   N E W S

* Traders clash with cops
* MCD drive back today

New Delhi, November 7
As was anticipated by law-enforcing agencies, the 24-hour Delhi bandh called by traders was marked by incidents of vandalism, clashes, stone-pelting and traffic disruptions in many parts of the city.

The police detained about 1,500 people following the vandalism of public transport by protesters who took to the streets against the sealing of illegal shops in the Capital. The protesters were tear-gassed and baton-charged by the police.

Karol Bagh, Green Park, Vikas Marg, Rohini, Shahadra, Malviya Nagar and Paharganj remained the worst affected even as a heavy security deployment was in place to ward off mishaps. Demonstrations were also held in some parts of South Delhi with traders taking out a rally in Green Park.

Several trucks ferrying traders in parts of East Delhi who were part of the bandh were stopped by the police, but protesters managed to damage public property and disrupt traffic in various areas of East Delhi, especially the arterial Vikas Marg.

The bandh, however, evoked a mixed response, as some markets remained open while others were closed. Markets in New Delhi Municipal Council did not participate in the bandh even as essential services were kept out of its purview. Commuters in the city faced inconvenience as autorickshaws stayed off the road to support the Delhi bandh.

All government and most public schools remained closed. With close to eight buses having been vandalised today, the Delhi Transport Corporation issued instructions to their staff members to vacate the buses if they came under attack.

The DTC had stationed 40 recovery vehicles to be sent to help the staff of the buses attacked. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, too, had instructed its staff to refrain from getting into scuffles or arguments with protesters and reach the nearest station in case of trouble.

In the meanwhile, it has been decided that the controversial sealing drive against unauthorised commercial establishments in Delhi will resume from tomorrow, two days after the Supreme Court rapped the government for not restarting the operation.

Briefing reporters after a meeting with MCD officials, member of the apex court-appointed monitoring committee K J Rao today said "the sealing will resume from tomorrow". However, details of where the drive will begin were not spelt out by the committee. "We have said about it earlier," another committee member S P Jhingan said.



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