The picketing, of a prominent supermarket on MG Road here on Wednesday evening, by Corporation councillors as part of an all-party anti-plastic drive in the city led to an hour-long stand-off between store officials and the councillors.
Later, based on a complaint filed by councillor S. Pushpalatha, three store officials were arrested on charges of intimidation and attempt to cause bodily harm.
The Corporation councillors entered the supermarket store at around 3.30 p.m. and proceeded to pull down on to the floor, plastic carry-bags stored in shelves. Senior store officials questioned this action of the councillors. Following heated exchange of words, some councillors sat in dharna in front of the store. An attempt by Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar to defuse the situation did not succeed.
“We visited the store two weeks ago. They had promised to remove all plastic bags they had in stock and requested for a week’s time,” Ms. Pushpalatha told The Hindu.
A store manager who did not wish to be identified told The Hindu that it was ironic that the Corporation councillors, aggressive from the beginning, ended up accusing the store officials of being abusive. All the same, the store planned to immediately offer alternatives to plastic carry bags, the manager added.
When asked whether Corporation officials had the legal right to enter shops and confiscate plastic bags, Mayor K. Chandrika told The Hindu that the anti-plastic drive was an all-party decision of the Corporation council and as elected representatives of the people, the councillors had the right to go ahead with this initiative.