Activists of the Left parties and their allied unions pelted stones and shattered the windows of a building, claiming it to be the office of Bharti-Walmart here on Wednesday.
After the protest, a large number of people were picked up by the police.
The protests, organised by the CPM, CPI, AICTU, CITU, DYFI, SFI and traders’ associations, had been announced against what these organisations have referred to as the “backdoor entry” of Walmart into Tamil Nadu, despite the State government’s announcement that it would not allow FDI in the retail sector.
The protestors alleged that Bharti-Walmart, a subsidiary of the US retail giant Walmart, has set up a marketing ‘office’ in Anna Nagar and is in the process of building a large store and warehouse in Vanagaram. They say the company has started operations, for what is said to be a wholesale store.
Left parties and organisations have been raising their voices against the operations of the company. They say it has been enrolling local shopkeepers and has issued ID cards to them, which they can use to buy goods at reduced prices. The local traders had been taken in by promises of cheap prices and door delivery, the protestors alleged.
Representatives of Leftist organisations started from Anna Nagar West bus terminus and reached the Best Price Modern Wholesale office on North Main Road in Anna Nagar West Extension.
They picketed the building, and started pelting stones. Police lathicharged the crowd and took the protestors into custody.
No employees were in the building, thanks to the Christmas holidays.