The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Reliance shop forced shut before opening

Reliance Infocomm Ltd, already in the eye of the “killer cable” storm, has hit yet another roadblock, with work on setting up its Web store in Maniktala having to be suspended.

Standing in the Reliance path is Trinamul Congress MLA from Maniktala, Paresh Pal. A group of his supporters barged into the CIT Road shop on Saturday, threatened some workers and forced them out, alleged Reliance officials. “Supporters of the MLA forced workers involved in construction of the shop’s interiors to leave. A complaint has been lodged with the police and work on the store stopped,” said a senior Reliance official.

Trouble, said Reliance, started about four months ago when the company took the basement of the CIT Road house on rent to display various products and provide Net facilities. Pal and his men turned up and stopped work, alleging that Reliance had “no valid papers”. Flashpoint was reached on Saturday. “The contractor was terrified when the goons barged in. They hurled abuses and told us to inform Reliance officials to contact the MLA and stop the work till then,” a security guard at the store said.

“I stepped in because the house does not have the requisite permission to be let out for commercial purposes. I will continue to oppose it,” Pal told Metro. He alleged that a number of houses along CIT Road did not have permission for running business establishments and many shops there did not have a trade licence. “I have asked the Reliance officials to talk to me,” he added.

Reliance officials, however, insisted they had all the documents required for setting up the store. “We have paid the Calcutta Municipal Corporation Rs 5.5 lakh, for which we have the documents. The no-objection certificate and other documents are also in order and the shop is absolutely legal,” said an official. “We have conveyed this to the Trinamul Congress leadership,” he added.

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