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Lathicharge on traders marching to Parliament

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 6: Nearly 100 traders were today (Mar 6, 2006) arrested when the police lathicharged thousands of small traders who were marching to Parliament over the issue of proposed sealing of commercial units in residential areas.

Several people were injured in the police lathicharge against the traders, agitating under the leadership of the Confederation of All India Traders.

Those arrested included Praveen Khandelwal, the Secretary General of the CAIT.

''After staging a demonstration at Jantar Mantar demanding the immediate intervention of the Union Government in the matter, we were marching towards Parliament to urge the Government to introduce a Bill in the current session of Parliament to regularise shops located in residential areas. However, when the traders tried to move towards Parliament, they were lathicharged and nearly 100 of our colleagues, including myself, were forcibly arrested,''Mr Khandelwal told UNI.

The traders were detained at the New Delhi district police station, he said.

Ten to twelve traders were injured in the lathicharge by the police, and had to be hospitalised at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Mr Khandelwal said.

Leading trade bodies of Delhi like the Delhi Traders Sangharsh Morcha, Federation of South Delhi and North Delhi Traders, Federation of Rohini Traders association, Delhi Rajya Vyapar Sanghthan and Delhi Retail Trade Forum took part in the demonstration and the march to Parliament. Earlier, addressing the protestors at Jantar Mantar, Mr Khandelwal criticised the ''lethargic'' role of the Government in the matter, which he said, directly affects 5 lakh traders and 25 lakh employees and their families.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ramesh Khanna, president of the Delhi Traders Sangharsh Morcha said,''the lethargic attitude of the Government can be gauged from the fact that it has failed to come out with any rehabilitation plan for the traders and their employees once their shutters are forced to be closed.

''Is the Government prepared to let lakhs of traders and their employees go jobless and homeless,'' he asked.


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