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Sep 24, 2007 at 09:24am IST

Fresh trouble for Reliance Fresh in UP, 5 stores shut

New Delhi: Mukesh Ambani's troubles with the UP government don't seem to be ending any time soon.

The government, on Sunday shut down five Reliance Fresh outlets in Noida. The government said it had received intelligence reports that the stores could be ransacked by small businessmen. Of the five stores shut down, two are in Greater Noida.

“This protest can grow bigger specially after the incidents at Lucknow and Varanasi. Keeping in mind the entire situation we have taken this preventive step and closed the outlets,” said DM Noida, A V Rajmolli.

The government says the Reliance fresh stores will remain closed till September 30, but this is a matter open to reconsideration.

Smaller businessmen however say that their protest against the corporatisation of retail sector would only grow bigger over time. They have also called for a protest on October 10 in Mumbai.

“This is just a small incidence, we are so troubled that we are forced to come on the streets. If the government doesn’t take action and guarantee our livelihood, the protest would grow bigger,” said General Secretary, Indian Industry and Trader's Association, Vijay Prakash Mandal.

The UP government had previously closed down Reliance fresh stores in Varanasi and Lucknow after farmers and small traders ransacked these stores.

Chief Minister Mayawati had given District Magistrates the authority to close down other retail stores in case they feared public disorder.

(With inputs from Nida Hasan in Delhi)

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