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Harried Delhi traders want Sonia Gandhi to intervene (LEAD)

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Thousands of traders in the national capital, facing sealing of their shops for operating illegally from residential areas, Saturday sought Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's intervention even as the Group of Ministers on the subject met to discuss the issue.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 | 4:21:28 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Thousands of traders in the national capital, facing sealing of their shops for operating illegally from residential areas, Saturday sought Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's intervention even as the Group of Ministers on the subject met to discuss the issue.

The representative of traders' organisations held a 45-minute meeting with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and submitted a memorandum asking for a comprehensive policy on the sealing of shops in residential areas and the demolition of illegal constructions.

The Delhi government has requested the central government to approach the Supreme Court to seek an extension of the suspension of the sealing drive beyond Oct 31. The court had suspended the sealing because of the festival season.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who chairs the GoM, met both Delhi Lt. Gov. B.L. Joshi and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Friday to discuss the issue of 41,0000 traders who are faced with sealing of their stores from Wednesday. The traders have filed affidavits in the Supreme Court.

They discussed various legal options and a final decision is expected after the GoM meeting.

The GoM meeting is also expected to review the law and order situation arising out of the sealing drive. The situation had turned violent last month resulting in the deaths of four people and injuries to hundreds in Seelumpur area of east Delhi.

The Delhi government wants a halt to the sealing drive till Jan 31, 2007.

The Delhi government said it would try to pass a resolution in the assembly that begins its session Monday that the sealing drive be stopped till the finalisation of the Master Plan 2021.

The Confederation of All India Traders has called for a three-day 'Delhi Vyapar Bandh (traders' shutdown)' from Monday to protest the sealing drive.

The civic authority had launched its sealing and demolition drive in April.

Copyright : Indo-Asian News Service
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