Staff Reporter

Traders down shutters in various parts of Kozhikode city

Protest led by Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi

Large number of farmers attend function

Kozhikode: Reliance Fresh, retail wing of Reliance Industries Ltd., opened outlets at Chakkorathukulam and Meenchanda here on Saturday, even as protesters held demonstrations in front of these shops.

A large posse of policemen were present at the outlets and they put up barricades to prevent the protesters from entering them.

T. Nasirudheen, president, Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, inaugurated a blockade in front of the outlet at Meechanda. Small traders joined the protest by closing down their shops at East Nadakkavu, Erahnipalam, Kunduparambu, Karaparambu, Puthiyangadi, Puthiyappa, Koya Road and Thadambattuthazham.

R.N. Saboo, industrialist, inaugurated the Chakkorathukulam outlet, while, P. Zakeer, president, Malabar Chamber of Commerce, inaugurated the other one.

Farmers from Kunnamangalam area and consumer groups from Mukkom area were present at the inaugural function. Their presence denotes the relationship that Reliance enjoys with farmers and consumers, Reliance Fresh spokesperson said.

Protests continued with activists of the Janata Dal (Secular), the Democratic Youth Federation of India and the All-India Youth Federation holding demonstrations in front of the Meenchanda outlet.

Opening of a hypermarket by Spencer Retail Ltd. in the city on Friday witnessed demonstrations and tense moments when activists of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Samithi tried to barge into the building housing it.