Karnataka

Shopkeepers shocked over closure order

Many business establishments in Hassan city were closed down on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: PRAKASH HASSAN

The State government’s directive to close all shops and establishments, except those selling food and other essentials, came as shock to shopkeepers and small businessmen on Thursday. Several teams of officers swung into action to close down business establishments in Hassan.

The businessmen, who were under the impression that their firms would be closed only during the weekend-curfew, were taken aback. Some of them entered into an argument with the officers of Hassan City Municipal Council and the police. “What has come into effect is a total lockdown, despite repeated assurance from the government that such a measure would not be taken”, said a textile shop owner.

Another shopkeeper said he had been facing many difficulties for the last one year. “The government has brought in lockdown once again. For the next 15 days, we cannot do any business. How should we survive?” asked a stationery shop owner.

The government has allowed degree colleges and engineering colleges to continue with the semester examinations. “Many students would require stationery items ahead of the examinations. If all the stationery shops are closed, where should they go”, wondered Chandan, an engineering student. Similarly, the government has allowed marriages during, but not allowed the shops that sell jewellery and clothes.

Penalty

Hassan CMC Commissioner R. Krishnamurthy slapped a fine of ₹50,000 on SRS Jewellers, a shop in the city, for not following the guidelines. The shop was opened for business on Thursday morning and more than 100 people had gathered inside. Many were not wearing masks and had ignored social distance norms. The Commissioner slapped a fine of ₹10,000 on Malabar Gold loan firm for similar offences. Hassan Deputy Commissioner R. Girish also went around the city to ensure the shops are closed.

People in Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga district also faced confusion about the guidelines. Many businessmen had arguments with the police.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 8:47:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/shopkeepers-shocked-over-closure-order/article34385969.ece

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