Ferozepur road market shuts down for a day

TuesdayShopkeepers of Ferozepur Road protesting at Mini-Secretariat in Ludhiana on Tuesday.

Congress joins protest with shopkeepers.

A day after the shopkeepers of Ferozepur road disrupted the anti-encroachment drive by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and traffic police, more than 500 shopkeepers on Wednesday observed a bandh, took out a protest rally and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner against the drive.

The busiest road of Ludhiana wore a deserted look as very few shops, including liquor vends and some dhabas, remained open while the remaining shops at Aggar Nagar, Aarti Chowk and Bharat Nagar Chowk joined the protest against the MC getting service lanes cleared on the orders of the High Court.

The Congress, which sits in opposition in Ludhiana MC, too took the benefit of the situation and joined the shopkeepers with MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashoo and councillor Gurpreet Gogi reaching the spot and addressing the shopkeepers.

The shopkeepers termed the drive an atrocity in the name of HC orders and asked MC where their customers should park the vehicles.

Ramesh Rattan, secretary, Aarti Chowk Shopkeepers' Association, said, "We met DC today and he too cited his inability as these are HC orders but after we insisted to present our side in front of the court, he has called us on Thursday for a meeting."

Rattan added, "The documents which we have presented clearly show that there was notified parking on Ferozepur road and even MC floated tenders in 2007 but it failed to complete the work, and now they are harassing the shopkeepers."

He said shops would be open from Thursday but the fight against injustice would continue as "we are set to meet Police Commissioner and other higher officials to present our side".

However, Naveen Malhotra, superintendent, tehbazaari wing, said, "We are simply following HC orders and if shopkeepers have any issues, they too can show their resentment in HC. We have nothing personal against them."

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