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Reliance ready to roll on

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By OUR BUREAU in Ranchi
  • Published 13.05.07

Ranchi, May 13: Vandalism by local vegetable vendors at four newly-opened Reliance Fresh outlets yesterday has not deterred the company’s plans for Jharkhand.

“So far, customers are only buying fruits and vegetables. They would soon get the opportunity to pick up clothes and dress material from our Reliance Digital and Reliance Hyper Market — the new entrants in the state capital,” announced top officials over phone from Mumbai.

“Our plan is to open one outlet for every 3,000 household in the country and Ranchi will be a part of it,” they added. Giving details about its expansion, the Reliance officials said a new outlet would be coming up at Bahu Bazaar for non-vegetarian items.

Reliance Fresh today carried out its business as usual in three of its four outlets in the city —SPG Mart in Bahu Bazaar, Laxmi Narayan Market at Tharpakhna and Rathore Tower on Circular Road.

The Morabadi outlet could not function because the vendors yesterday had damaged it badly during their protest against venture of big companies in the vegetable and fruit retailing.

Company officials at this outlet were seen busy assessing the damage with insurance surveyors throughout the day.

The police, who had failed to act promptly yesterday, too, were seen on vigil. Despite being Sunday and courts being closed, the city police produced the miscreants before the chief judicial magistrate at his residence and later forwarded them to Birsa Munda Central Jail.

Those arrested included a peace committee member and JVM leader Uday Shanker Ojha, who had led the vendors in the protest. Ojha said supporting the vendors was his personal decision and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha had nothing to do with it. “I was invited to lead the vendors in my personal capacity,” he added.

Meanwhile, in response to a bandh called in the city today, few vendors were seen at Lalpur, Bahu Bazaar, Kutchery and Naga Baba Khatal market. Daily Market remained normal.

Senior police superintendent M.S. Bhatia said more arrests are possible.

Chhatarpur MLA and JD(U) leader Radha Krishna Kishore visited the Reliance Fresh outlet on Circular Road and H.B. Road to express his solidarity with the company and build a public opinion against the Koda government.

“What can we expect from the government, which failed to provide security to vegetable outlets in the city,” he said, demanding proper compensation for the businessmen who were targeted during Reliance Fresh outlet attacks. Kishore said his party leader George Fernandes would be coming tomorrow to express his solidarity with the company and highlight the administrative failure of the state government. Jharkhand Pradesh Mahila Congress president Prat-ibha Pandey also visited the outlets.