People keep away following media reports of it being on the terrorist radar
People are slowly coming back to Begum Bazaar after a few days of hesitation.
Reports of the market being on the terrorist radar and a letter purportedly written by a terror group warning about bomb blasts there, had kept people away.
“Business was comparatively dull last week. We assure people that all steps are being taken to make it a safe place,” said Ghanshayam Bhati, president, Hyderabad Kirana Merchants Association, adding that “people are avoiding the market after the media reported of a terror module conducting reconnaissance.”
There are about 4,000 shops in and around Begum Bazaar considered to be one of the biggest commercial markets of the city. People visit the wholesale market for their needs not only from the city but also from the districts as well.
About 25,000 people earn their livelihood through the market like the ‘hamalis’ and salesmen.
“We earn Rs.300 a day but when the market closes, our wages too get affected,” says Sandeep, a salesman.
CCTVs being installed
Complying with the police orders, traders have begun to install closed circuit surveillance cameras. A few big shops have hired security personnel while the smaller ones are contemplating hiring watch-and-ward staff.
One can see a strict vigil being maintained at the Aziz Plaza, the busiest market of Begum Bazaar, even as it wore a near deserted look on Wednesday.
Security personnel at the complex were frisking people and checking their belongings before allowing them inside.
“Against the regular business of Rs. 20,000 a day we could do business only between Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 5,000,” said Waseem, a crockery store owner.
A few thousand people visit the market every day. Hence, it could be a possible reason for the terror modules to focus on it, feel police officials.
However, the police are conducting regular anti-sabotage checks at the market and are making repeated announcements asking the public to be vigilant.