Dehradun, March 7
The traders of Paltan Bazar are jubilant over the decision of the state government to allow movement of two-wheelers in Paltan Bazaar from 10 to 3 in the day. The traders' unions have now cancelled their joint decision to observe a bandh tomorrow, and also opened their shops in the afternoon today.
The news regarding the state government's decision was broken to the traders by Saket Bahuguna, son of the Chief Minister, at Clock Tower. He showed them a letter of the Chief Minister in this regard.
When the traders at Clock Tower were clapping and cheering the decision around 2 in the afternoon, a group of union leaders was meeting SSP Kewal Khurana in his office on the matter. Khurana had refused to relax the ban on two-wheelers but also kept the doors of dialogue open by offering them a meeting with the District Magistrate and himself in three to four days.
The traders of Paltan Bazaar had intensified their protest in support of their demand over resumption of plying of two-wheelers in the market after a trader, Chander Shekhar Kohli, died of heart attack in his shop yesterday afternoon. The traders blamed the police for not allowing an ambulance inside the market, which led to his death,whereas the police said the delay was on the part of the ambulance.
The leaders of various trade associations welcomed the decision of the state government. President of Doon Traders' Association Vipin Nagliya said: “All the trader communities thank the state government over it's decision to resume movement of two-wheelers. The business of Paltan Bazaar had got immensely affected due to the ban, whilst our other competitors in adjoining markets made profits on account of a slump in our business.”
President of State Doon Trade Association Umesh Aggarwal thanked the state government for showing sensitivity towards the grievances of traders in the matter and said; “The traders are demanding the extension of limit of movement of two-wheelers up to 4. Saket Bahuguna has given us an assurance us in this connection."
Reacting on this sudden turnaround, SSP said: “The police will comply with the state government order about resumption of two-wheelers in Paltan Bazaar and now deploy more policemen in the market to regulate traffic and crowd.”
In the morning, the traders could be seen throwing their weight around by making inflammatory speeches against the police and throwing police barricades away. Some traders dragged barricades to long distances. CO, city, Mamta Bohra, directed the policemen to bring these back. A minor scuffle took place on this issue. A trade leader also tried to argue with Mamta Bohra when she asked him to stand at a distance from her. Other policemen pacified him with difficulty. The dharna and speeches continued till 1.30, after which they the traders went to meet the SSP. However, the energy and anger perceptible in traders yesterday was missing today.