KARACHI: Although the Sindh government has allowed traders from operating online business activities, police on Monday reportedly stopped some traders from carrying out their businesses.
Many traders reached the Electronics Market, situated in Saddar area, but were prevented by the police from resuming their business activities. The police authorities demanded permission letters from the traders before allowing them, saying they were acting on the directives from the government. A heavy contingent of Rangers and police reached the spot as the traders scuffled with the law-enforcement agencies.
Last week, Sindh government had allowed resuming business activities with strict conditions attached to it during coronavirus lockdown. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that small traders were cooperating and will be given permission to resume online business activities but cannot be allowed to reopen markets and shopping centres.
The traders have to completely implement the standard operating procedures devised for online business. A list of the shop owners, staffers and delivery men working at the business place should be provided to the provincial government while protective material including hand gloves, sanitizers shall be provided to them.
Last week, the Sindh Tajir Ittehad, an association of traders, had vowed to reopen business before the lockdown was extended on April 24. They had hinted at launching a protest campaign against the provincial government and said that they would present themselves for voluntary arrests if a mechanism to open businesses was not formulated.
The members of the Tajir Ittehad also claimed that Sindh government did not care for traders and daily wage earners. They threatened the government that the time for dialogue was over and markets would reopen under any cost. However, the traders faced stiff resistance when they attempted to reopen businesses.
On April 24, President All City Tajir Ittehad was arrested by local police for defying lockdown restrictions. The police took President Hammad Poonawala into custody along with four others.
The traders had opened shops in the Iron Market area disregarding government orders. The police took swift action and the shops were completely shut down. The traders have claimed they were roughed up and forced to close shops. They were arrested and presented in court which gave their judicial remand for one week.