July 24, 2018
COIMBATORE: Vegetable market in Mettupalayam, a major potato centre in India, remained closed on Tuesday, in protest against the stone pelting incident on a Tamil Nadu lorry, resulting in the death of a cleaner in Kanjikode in Kerala on Monday.
Mubarak Batcha, hailing from Annur, who was going in the lorry driven by Noorulla, with vegetables to be supplied to Changanaserry in Kerala, died after a group pelted stones on the vehicle past midnight.
As a mark of respect to the deceased, nearly 200 vegetable wholesalers downed their shutters and condemned the incident, reportedly linked to the nation-wide lorry strike.
Though lorry owners decided not to take vegetables to Kerala in future, the vegetable wholesalers convinced them by saying that it can be decided after some time, potato merchant association sources said.
Meanwhile, due to lorry strike, the arrival of over 100 loads of potato daily from different parts of the country was affected, leading to a business loss of Rs. 5 to 10 crores daily.
Potato from Gujarat, KGF and Hassan in Karnataka, Agra, Nainital and Indore used to arrive in the market to be distributed in different states, they said.
Similarly, the arrival of vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, cauliflower from nearby Nilgiris district has also been totally disrupted, they said and urged the Centre and State Government to take steps to see the end of the strike, affecting lakhs of people.
Meanwhile, CITU sources said that the livelihood of more than 20,000 workers, including drivers, cleaners, head load men were affected due to the strike.