Alok Mishra

Gopalganj: The businessmen of Gopalganj kept their shutters down for the second consecutive day on January 12 to protest alleged police atrocities on them. The bandh call has the support of one and all as the shopkeepers downed their shutters on their own. Though police remained alert throughout the day and cops were deputed at Mauniya Chowk, Ambedkar Chowk, Post Office Chowk, Purani Chowk. Those who had opened their shops at Banjari Road, Jadopur Road, Ambedkar Chowk and Jangaliya Chowk on January 11 had downed their shutters on Thursday.

The agitation by the traders impacted Makar Sankranti shopping as lots of people visited local markets but had to return empty handed as most of the shops were closed.

The traders held a closed door meeting on January 12 to chalk out their strategy. They also discussed the issue of seeking political support to the agitation. Some of the traders were of the opinion that they should seek support from MP, fMLAs, MLCs and in-charge minister of the district. They said that the district police were not taking action against the real culprits responsible for the arson during immersion of idols of Goddess Durga during last Dussehra. The 0cops are only victimizing innocent people, they pointed out.

It may be mentioned here that two groups had indulged in arson and stone pelting at Turkaha during immersion of idols of Goddess  Durga on October 14, 2016. Instector (Rural) Nigam Kumar Verma had sustained serious injuries in the incident. Several others had also sustained injuries and several vehicles were torched by the mob. Two separate FIRs had been lodged by rival sides then.

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