250 Retail stores and commercial outlets have been shut for the past two and a half months, owing to the protests at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), reported News 18.
This has affected approximately 3000 workers and resulted in a loss of ₹150 crores worth of business transactions. Members of the market association said that most workers suffered job losses due to a lack of business activities.
A senior member of the market association expressed his desire to meet the interlocutors and inform him about the financial impact of these protests on the lives of the shop owners and the staff. He also mentioned that negotiations with the agitators bore no results.
He added, “This is a fight between the protesters and the government, but we are bearing the brunt. All we want is that someone should also think about us and the protesters should be shifted to somewhere else.”
Kashif who sold interior designing products at Shaheen Bagh had to close down his shop within a few days of its inauguration. He has been unable to pay for his house and shop rent. A store manager in a Commerical showroom, Shabbir Ahmed, had been sitting at home penniless for the past 2.5 months. He earlier earned between ₹20,000 and ₹25,000.
Shabbir stated, “CAA and NRC matters are in Supreme Court. Everyone should respect the words of the Apex court and should shift the protest to somewhere else. I support anti-CAA protests but not at the cost of my living and now our condition is getting worse day by day.”
Harpreet Kumar has a similar story. The protests at Shaheen Bagh, the new mecca for Anti-CAA demonstrations, have rendered him jobless. His father is a farmer in a village in Rai Bareilly district and the only earning member of the family. Kumar has been forced to leave Delhi and shift to his village for a new job.
One of the protestors who firmly believe that he is saving the Indian Constitution by blocking roads said that he was concerned about the job loss but the “interest” of 200 people could be “sacrificed” for preserving the rights of 135 crore people.
Shaheen Bagh is not short of people with bizarre arguments at their disposal. When a 4-month-old child died due to cold weather, one of the protestors said, “Allah ki bacchi thi, Allah na bula liya.” The protests at Shaheen Bagh fuelled by Islamic supremacy has also caused unprecedented traffic woes for daily commuters, besides job losses.