Three, including a seven-year-old, killed in police firing; chaos on roads
Agitators block roads and pelt stones on vehiclesAround 30 security personnel injured in stone-peltingMajor markets remained closed
NEW DELHI: Three people, including a seven-year-old, were killed on Wednesday in a police firing at Seelampur in north-east Delhi after traders and local residents turned violent during a day-long "Delhi Bandh."
The protest was against a drive of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to seal shops.
All major markets in the city were closed, with traders blocking the main roads and pelting stones at Government and private vehicles.
The drive, launched on the Supreme Court orders, was targeted at commercial establishments that have come up either in violation of the city's master plan or by flouting the building by-laws.
At Seelampur, protesters came out on the streets from morning and by afternoon they started pelting stones at the police and paramilitary personnel. They also burnt a bus and an MCD vehicle.
Around 30 security personnel, including Deputy Commissioner of Police (north-east Delhi) D. C. Srivastava, were injured in the stonepelting.
The police fired a few rounds of teargas shells and lathicharged the crowd. When this failed to bring the situation under control, they opened fire, resulting in the death of two youths and a child. About 40 people were injured in the melee.
Elsewhere, the situation remained tense throughout the day, as protesters damaged more than 20 buses, including that of private operators and some private vehicles. They also pelted stones at security personnel.
Metro coaches damaged
In east Delhi, protesters pelted stones at four Metro trains on the Seelampur-Shahdara section around 4 p.m., damaging several coaches. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation suspended operations beyond the Shastri Park station.
Chaos prevailed on all major roads, including the Ring Road, as traders set up roadblocks. This led to long traffic jams. Stones were hurled at police and private vehicles at South Extension, Dabri, Rohini, Nangloi, Pitampura, Vikas Marg, Karol Bagh, Zafrabad, Bhajanpura and Khajuri.
A dozen police personnel were injured in clashes with protesters.
Called by the Confederation of All-India Traders, the "Delhi Bandh" was supported by around 500 small and big market associations, besides some political parties, including the BJP.
All the major markets across the city remained shut.
The drive was a low-key affair on Wednesday. Only 24 illegal commercial establishments were targeted.
At a couple of places, MCD squads had to move away following protests.
Nine pieces of property were sealed in the West Zone, six at the Civil Lines, five at Rohini, three in the South Zone and one in the Sadar Paharganj Zone.
The squads mainly targeted polluting businesses and shops running from basements and other floors except the ground floor.