Kozhikode: On the first day of the three-day relaxations announced in the State ahead of Bakrid, business was reportedly dull, especially on the SM Street in Kozhikode, where last week traders had protested the TPR-based restrictions on shops.
Office-bearers of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasai Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) said that the situation was similar at all major cities in the State.
T Naziruddin, state president of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasai Ekopana Samithi, claimed that the police acted in vengeance at various places because of which several shops struggled to attract customers.
As per reports, the Kozhikode Town police registered cases against 15 shops and 56 persons for allegedly violating the COVID protocol.
At SM Street, the major point of contention between the police and traders was regarding the implementation of a token-based system for entering shops to regulate the crowd. Traders have maintained that the system will not be effective on SM Street, which is one of the busiest shopping places in Kozhikode.
Permission was not given to hawkers on the SM Street.
"It is not possible to demand a token system in places like the SM street where there are narrow lanes," said KVVES state secretary, K Sethumadhavan.
Based on the experience gained from the short-term relaxation given to shops in the build-up to Bakrid, Sethumadhavan told the Manorama News that they will ask the state government for an extended period ahead of Onam (Thiruvonam falls on August 21). He said that opening up shops just three days before the festival will not be beneficial.
"We will meet the chief minister after Bakrid and raise our demand," Sethumadhavan said.
Meanwhile, Kozhikode Deputy Commissioner of Police, Swapnil Mahajan told Onmanorama that they were able to ensure the COVID protocol on SM Street.