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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 12, 2007
Petty vegetable vendors ransack Reliance Fresh outlets in Jharkhand
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Petty vegetable vendors ransack Reliance Fresh outlets in Jharkhand

Hundreds of petty vegetable vendors and traders here today ransacked three outlets of Reliance Fresh, which is a retail chain of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries that sells fruits, vegetables and grocery items.

Ranchi, May 12 : Hundreds of petty vegetable vendors and traders here today ransacked three outlets of Reliance Fresh, which is a retail chain of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries that sells fruits, vegetables and grocery items.

It was one of the most serious cases of unrest linked to the entrance of large, glitzy retail chains into India's fragmented 200 billion dollars food and grocery sector, which small shop owners see as a threat to their customers.

About a dozen vendors and Reliance customers were hurt in the incident as vegetable sellers smashed the windows, as they attacked the outlets with rods, and pelted stones.

Street vendors, fearing that the retail outlet would spell doom for their livelihoods, said they would fight the competition.

"The poor people are being affected, who have lost contracts. We have started this movement to root them out and by the grace of God we will be successful," said Iftikar, a vegetable vendor.

Police used bamboo canes to chase the protesters away.

"They injured police personnel. They started looting the place. We cannot stay mum in these cases. They have looted and damaged goods worth hundreds of thousands of rupees," said A.K. Singh, police inspector.

However, the local administration promised to take stringent action against those responsible for the violence.

"The incumbent officer in the area be it the police or the administration, it seems like they were callous in their work, which needs to be taken care off since such an incident cannot be let off without punishment nor will we let the perpetrators go scot-free," said K.K Sone, Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi.

Reliance Retail Ltd., a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, is investing 5.6 billion dollars in hundreds of stores. Officials of the firm were not immediately available for comment.

Since launching its retail operations last year, Reliance has more than 90 fresh vegetable and food stores. It expects to start opening hypermarkets in the next few months.

ANI

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