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Bookstalls demolished at Koti amidst protests

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RAZED TO GROUND: Bookshops being flattened at Koti in Hyderabad on Monday. Photo G. Krishnaswamy
RAZED TO GROUND: Bookshops being flattened at Koti in Hyderabad on Monday. Photo G. Krishnaswamy

Staff Reporter

It's an act of disdain, says P. Madhu, CPI(M) MP

  • Booksellers' plea for three hours' time rejected
  • Alternative sites provided at Koti subway and Sultan Bazar municipal complex

    HYDERABAD: The favourite haunt for bibliophiles and students faded into memory on Monday when MCH officials demolished bookstalls at Koti amidst protests from booksellers.

    The removal of 100 and odd bookshops following a High Court directive was not smooth as the booksellers demanded some time to remove furniture and books. Most of the traders had shifted the books on Sunday night.

    Traffic diverted

    With JCBs being pressed into service and a posse of policemen standing guard, the demolitions began in the morning as traders, who turned emotional, demanded at least three hours' time to remove their stocks. As arguments continued, the police moved in even as traffic was diverted at Andhra Bank and Esamia Bazar. The police had to use some force. "We wanted three hours to vacate the shops as our advocate was trying to get a court order to this effect," general secretary of the Old and New Book Sellers Association Syed Saber Hussain said. "We were ready to vacate the place. As it was raining, it was difficult to shift the stocks" another bookseller N. Ravi Kumar, complained.

    MCH Additional Commissioner G. Ravi Babu said that alternative sites at Koti subway and Sultan Bazar municipal complex had been provided for them. CPI(M) parliamentarian P. Madhu branded the demolition as an act of disdain. "Nearly 125 bookshops and over 700 families depend on the business," he said.

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