Mumbai: In spite of its largely business as
usual for a few shop owners on the perky alley of Zaveri
Bazaar, a sense of uncertainty and fear has gripped the
traders, who have vociferously articulated the lack of
adequate security in the terror-hit jewellery market.
Zaveri Bazaar became the victim of terror in 1993 when 13
serial blasts rocked the financial capital killing 257 people
and injuring over 700 others. Terror struck again in 2003,
with blasts taking place at the Zaveri Bazaar and the Gateway
of India, claiming 54 lives and injured over a 100.
And the recent being the July 13 attack, killing seven
and injuring several others there.
"Following the blasts all we can see are policemen and
barricades in the area. If they were present (before the
blast) the incident might have not happened. There is a
constant need to patrol the area... at least a few policemen
must guard the area round the clock and more CCTV cameras be
put up," Vishal Chauhan of Raksha Bullion, a shop located few
steps away from the blast site, said.
Another worker Raju Kariya of J S Kothari Sons and
Jewelry, said: "The need of the hour is to have either a small
police chowki or over dozen policemen. Its their duty to
protect us. We see (policemen) them only for a few days after
the attack and then they vanish."
Having witnessed three blasts since 1993, every untoward
incident gives a cold sweat to the shop owners in the area but
it has not deterred them from returning to work.
"The Wednesday blasts brought back memories of two former
dastardly attacks. Those who haven`t been affected have to
return to work. For how many days we will protest and stop
work?" asked an annoyed Chauhan.
"I have witnessed 1992 riots when the shops in the area
were burnt and (subsequently) in the 1993 blasts. The area has
been attacked thrice and it seems nothing is going to change
much. I am used to it. We have to return to work... its
business as usual," said a nonchalant Zaki Khambati, owner of
Cosmos Jewelry Tools.