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Brokers forced to stop trading

Calcutta, Feb. 24: An army of 30-40 Citu activists forced closure of the Calcutta Stock Exchange building this morning, driving brokers out.

Guards at 7 Lyons Range, right behind Writers’ Buildings, stopped the group of strikers but, realising they were going to be overpowered quickly, alerted the brokers inside.

Hundreds of brokers operate out of 6 and 7 Lyons Range. They trade on the National Stock Exchange and are estimated to clock a transaction volume of nearly Rs 3,000 crore a day.

Initially, they tried to resist the Citu supporters, who were in no mood to budge. Sensing the futility of trying to reason, senior brokers restrained the fuming youngsters who had nearly picked a fight with the Citu activists.

By then, the strikers had deflated the tyres of the vehicles parked around the stock exchange, while policemen guarding the back of the state’s seat of power looked the other way. “This is the first time that brokers were flushed out of their offices,” said Ajit Day, a former president of the stock exchange. The Calcutta Stock Exchange is dead anyway, having lost its relevance some years ago.

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