New Delhi: Traders all over the country are up in arms against the government's decision to introduce Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail. Over 1 crore traders and small-time retailers are on strike in many states across the country on Thursday.
Retailers say the move to allow big foreign giants in Indian retail will cost millions of jobs.
Sources said that over 20 protesting traders in Mumbai were detained.
The anti-FDI protests has seen participation from traders in Kolkata, Bhopal, Lucknow, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jammu and Kanpur.
"We will fight against this and we will always continue to oppose the Bill," said Mohan Singh, a trader from Uttar Pradesh.
The one-day bandh called by traders to protest FDI in retail sector evoked partial response in the city here with several shops remaining open.
Meanwhile, the CPI also decided to join the traders in their protest as part of the nation-wide stir against FDI in retail sector.
The party said it would burn effigies at Naraynaguda and organise a dharna at Begum Bazaar in the city.
Main markets, schools, colleges, petrol pumps and cinema halls remained closed in Uttarakhand in response to the bandh call by traders to protest against FDI in the retail sector.
"The bandh is complete and spontaneous," said Anil Goyal, President of 'Prantiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal'.
All wholesale commodity markets, including bullion are closed in the national capital, following an all India 'bandh' called by traders associations.
The wholesale and retail markets in Chandni Chowk, Fatehpuri, Khari Baoli in walled, Sadar Bazar, Kamla Nagar, Chawri Bazar, Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Khan Market, Kashmere Gate, Tilak Nagar, Rohini, Krishna Nagar among others
which participated in the one-day Bharat Vyapar Bandh.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union threatened to block railway services in western Uttar
Pradesh in protest against the decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment in retail.
BKU will block railway tracks on December 5 to protest against the central government's decision to invite FDI in the retail sector, party spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said.
Meanwhile, the Bandh call given by different political parties and trade unions found a mixed response with several trading centres remaining open.
Small and medium traders across Maharashtra, including Mumbai, kept their shops shut in response to the bandh.
"We have received good response for the bandh in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai as traders of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) have joined call to support the one-day bandh. Major markets of grain, fruits and vegetables, onion
and potato and 'kirana' have observed bandh today," Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) President Mohan Gurnani said.
FAM is the apex body for over 750 trade, transport and small scale associations.
"After the bandh, we will go on a hunger strike at Shivaji Chowk on December 3," Gurnani warned.
"Traders from all over the country, including Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and other states, are strongly opposing FDI in retail. This is a question of our existence and hence there are no divisions," he added.
(With additional information from PTI)