Despite the promise to stay open, shops on  MG Road buckle under threat

The MG Road in Kochi, which is usually bustling with activity, sported a deserted look with only a few opened shops.

Published: 10th September 2018 10:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2018 06:17 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: It was 12 at noon. The MG Road in Kochi, which is usually bustling with activity, sported a deserted look with only a few opened shops.

A day before the hartal, it was announced on social media that the shops in the MG Road stretch will be opened like any other day. Retail shops of big brands and other big shops supported this decision. To assure protection and security, the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry even wrote to the District Collector and the police authorities.

However, when the shops were opened in the morning, a group of 60 to 70 men forced them shut. Though a few shops opened again after some time, another group of men stormed the place and asked to pull the shutters of the remaining shops. “The police were called but they were ineffective. They even advised shop owners to close down to prevent further friction,” said Rajesh Nair, MG Road Merchants’ Association convenor.

“This act by the protesters claiming to be part of certain parties is an act of hooliganism. The attitude of the policemen during such a time is also worrisome,” said Gopakumar S, president of Better Kochi Response Group.

According to Rajesh, none of the shop owners’ association has anything against the protest. “If the political parties have the right to call for a Bharat bandh, we have the right to open our shops as well,” he said. “We had to close our shops for more than 10 days during the floods. If we keep on shutting down for public strikes, we’ll be at the verge of a financial crisis. You can’t expect us to comply with strikes such as this.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Kochi news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp