Three day traders' strike in New Delhi

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New Delhi is experiencing the second day of a strike by traders protesting against the implementation of a Supreme Court order to seal commercial establishments violating zoning rules by operating in residential zones.

The strike has affected a very large area in New Delhi including major markets in Rohini, Chandani Chowk, Karol Bagh and south extension of Delhi. Schools were shut down yesterday but have reopened today.

A group of traders met the union urban development minister S Jaipal Reddy to air their grievances about the government's response towards the MCD's sealing drive. Traders also met Delhi Chief minister Sheila Dikshit to submit a memorandum calling for an end to the sealing drive.

Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders, said, they will call off the strike on Wednesday night and the continue their agitation by hunger-strike and conferences against the sealing drive. Traders refused to move back from the agitation until November 1, when Municipal Corporation of Delhi is likely to resume its sealing drive.

According to official sources, the union government is likely to file a review petition before the Supreme Court to temporarily suspend the drive and resolve this dispute as soon as possible.

After seeing the law-and-order situation in Delhi, the Supreme Court's Monitoring committee recommended the Supreme Court not to resume the MCD's sealing drive on November 1.

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