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As Section 144 is relaxed, people throng shops to store food items

As Section 144 is relaxed, people throng shops to store food items

New Delhi: Residents living in riot affected areas in North-East Delhi thronged in large numbers at grocery shops and other business units on Friday. The residents, who who had confined themselves inside their houses since clashes broke out, were seen buying grocery and other essential commodities as much as they could.

They said that though normalcy has been restored in their localities, they wanted sufficient stock of food items to store. The administration, to ensure supply and sell of commodities, had given relaxation in Section 144 for 10 hours. The government agencies, too, distributed food among people affected during the violence.

Early morning, residents living in Yamuna Vihar, Durgapuri, Vijay Park, Bhajanpura, Mustafabad, Babarpur, Gokulpuri besides other riot-hit pockets, were seen rushing to grocery shops. They were holding bags so they could purchase maximum quantity. Many of them were asking for 10-12 pockets of milk.

"We have been in fear since Sunday last. Our houses are almost empty hence we need food and other items urgently. The only hope is that administration will announce full relaxation in Section 144 so we could manage our daily affairs," said Sidharth, a resident living in Yamuna Vihar B-block area.

In Bhajanpura, besides essential commodity shops, other business outlets, markets were opened. The shop owners, who are living in fear, said that despite tense situation, they wanted their business to run. They said that though very few footfall or almost zero people visited their premises, they will keep their practice on. "Crowd is at grocery shops only but we hope other shops will also see customer's visit. Today we have made a fresh start and are hopeful to change the situation," said a shopkeeper in main market area.

A Jafrabad resident, who was seen in queue at a general store, said that his family was forced to survive without food for last couple of days and now when shops are open, he could manage food materials for them. "Initially we had some food but stock finished. We preferred to remain inside the house as we had fear of our life. Now when situation appearing normal, we are at shops," he said.

A furniture shop owner, who opened his shop partially at Babarpur-Maujpur main road, on Friday said that he is not in position to take risk as his shop was targeted many times during the incident. "Vandals made all attempt to set on fire my shop. They put inflammable material inside, threw petrol bombs on upper all floors but somehow they failed in their attempt. We closed shutter for 4-5 days but now we have decided to open it partially. Initially we have opened shutter 2-3 feet above the ground and if situation normalises, we will do our business in normal routine," said the owner.

A trader dealing in electric equipments at Seelampur road said that now, it is peaceful as people start to realise that no one will gain anything by indulging in violence.

Small business owners incurred a lot of damage as many shops were gutted in the area. The shops were shut, now some of them are open but we are still afraid of a repeat of the violence. He thinks some outsiders came and created violence here. "There is no enmity between Hindus and Muslims here," he said.

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