STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 25 October
The traders traditionally selling fire crackers during Diwali from Bidhan Market and Mahabirsthan in Siliguri have agreed to shift their selling joints to the Siliguri police line ground at Mallaguri as directed by Siliguri Metropolitan Police (SMP). Notably, to avoid accidents, SMP issued a directive, putting embargo on the selling of firecrackers from the markets located at the heart of the town and proposing relocation of the selling joints at the police line at Malaguri on the town&’s outskirts.
Initially, the traders raised objections, citing extra expenses and fear of the number of the buyers coming down. They instead put a proposal to relocate the joints at club ground near Panitanki More. But they could not produce a clearance certificate from the landowner to police, it is learnt. "Mallagurui police line is finally selected as the venue for selling firecrackers. The traders asked us to shift the venue to the club ground near Panitanki More. However, they failed to produce a no-objection certificate from the landowner,” said the Siliguri Metropolitan Police commissioner, Mr K Jayaraman.
Resentment keeps simmering despite the traders having fallen in line.
“Now we have no other option. We have agreed under compulsion. However, we still believe that the sudden change of venue would result in our losses,” said the joint secretary of the Bidhan Market Babsayee Samiti, Mr Avijit Ghosh.
According to the police sources, at least 50 shops can be accommodated at Mallaguri police line. It is also learnt over 3,000 traders in Siliguri are involved in the firecracker trade.