Greater Kailash-I market open, but few shoppers around

September 15th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Undeterred by Saturday’s bomb blasts, stores in the posh Greater Kailash M-Block market here reopened their doors Monday but few shoppers were seen in the area.The usually bustling market wore a deserted look, with only a handful of people venturing into the shops and that too, with a sense of urgency. About a dozen policemen patrolled the market, while some were seen huddled in the park, discussing the situation.

“There are PCR vans in and around this market which patrol the area every hour. Loudspeakers have been installed in the area, which will give warnings and keep informing the citizens of the situation. It is true that there are always five or six policemen in this market at all times, but nothing like this has ever happened before and we did not expect this,” Dinesh Kumar, a head constable posted in the area, told IANS.

From the park, the policemen also kept a watch on the spot where the blasts occurred. The spot had been cleared of all signs of the powerful blast that had occurred there Saturday evening. The spot where the second blast occurred 10 minutes later had also been swept clean.

Amit Kumar, manager of the Levis store in front of which the first bomb exploded, said: “We are requesting the local association of the market to install CCTVs inside the shops so that suspicious people are easily identified.”

The police might have tightened the security after the blasts, but guards said the officials had not told them how to secure the market.

“The police haven’t told us what security measures we should be taking. They just keep having meetings in the middle of the park on their own, when they should be telling us how to be equipped for such situations. They are not even checking cars and vehicles that are in the parking lot,” said Dhananjay Mishra, a security guard at the Giovani store.

He said the private guards have on their own tightened security in the area.

“We do not allow anyone to bring their bags inside the shop and also check the bags for any kind of suspicious material like chemicals nor do we allow people to sit in front of the shops to ensure that nobody leaves anything behind,” he added.

The lack of people has left quite a few shopkeepers disheartened.

“Today, there are only 25 percent customers compared to any other normal day although everything is back to normal for us and we are opening our shops no matter what. Yesterday there was only one customer, compared to 50 on a Sunday,” said Neetu Singh, a fashion advisor working in EDC, a clothing store.

“I don’t think there is enough security, but still, I do not feel scared because there always have been a trend of how things die down after the blast,” said Supriya Rao who decided to go shopping depsite Saturday’s blasts.

Praveen Singh, a fashion advisor at Esprit, said: “Bomb blasts in India have become such a regular occurrence that we no more feel scared and that is why we have opened our shops for any customer who comes. We do not care even if they are less in number.”

Five bomb blasts had rocked the capital Saturday - two each in Greater Kailash and Connaught Place and one in Gaffar Market - killing 23 people and injuring around 100.

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