The Telegraph e-Paper
The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rs 5cr protest blow to Pandra

The wholesale vegetable and grain market at Pandra, Ranchi, remained shut on Tuesday in protest against a mob assault on a trader a day before.

Though no crunch was reported from the end of well-stocked-up retailers, wholesalers claimed the impromptu shutdown, which affected more than 300 provisions outlets, had triggered a loss of at least Rs 5 crore.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to consumers and retailers. There was no other option, but to show our resentment to yesterday’s incident. Our shops will open tomorrow (Wednesday) because the police have acted tough against the culprits,” said Sambhu Prasad Gupta, president of Ranchi Chamber of Commerce and Industries, which enforced the daylong bazaar bandh.

Around 2pm on Monday, businessman Sanjay Mahuri, who deals in foodgrains and edible oil, was dragged out of hi shop and beaten up by his servant Mahesh Prasad and a group of 30 men.

Pandra Bazaar sources said Mahuri had caught Prasad stealing sacks of rice on Saturday and reported the matter at the local police outpost. When a case was lodged, Prasad apparently pleaded for forgiveness, promising not to repeat his mistake. A considerate Mahuri had withdrawn the complaint and let him go. But, instead of being grateful, Prasad ganged up against his master, spurring Tuesday’s protest.

Pandra outpost in-charge K.K. Jha and his team went around the market in the morning and tried to convince shopkeepers to run business, but the latter did not budge. Businessman led by Ranjit Tibrewal, president of Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries, called on SSP Saket Kumar Singh and requested him to arrest the culprits.

Jha later confirmed that they had arrested Prasad and his aide Guddu Rai. “The two have been forwarded to jail. The others are being identified. They will be behind bars soon,” Jha said, adding that patrolling had been beefed up at Pandra Bazaar to keep the situation under control.