AHMEDABAD: Owners of fair price shops under Gujarat's public distribution system (PDS) on Monday warned of a strike if they and their staff are not given insurance cover against and protection from the coronavirus outbreak.
Before an indefinite strike, all 17,500-odd fair price shops will observe a shut down on April 19, said Gujarat Fair Price Shop Owners Association president Prahlad Modi.
The announcement comes against the backdrop of a fair price shop owner, identified as Bhargav Patni (27), dying of coronavirus infection in Vadodara's Nagarwada area on Sunday, leading to the entire locality being sealed off as it has witnessed 80 COVID-19 cases.
"To mourn the death of an FPS owner of coronavirus infection, we have decided to wear black clothes or black ribbons all through Monday.
We have also decided to observe a shut down on April 19," said Modi.
"We are issuing an ultimatum to the state government that we will go on an indefinite strike in the coming days if shop owners and their employees are not given protection against coronavirus, like masks and gloves.
Just like shop owners, each of their employees must be given Rs 25 lakh insurance cover," added Modi.
He said fair price shops and residences of owners and staff must be sanitised twice a day.
Modi is the brother of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.