RAHIM YAR KHAN - A number of shopkeepers protested against the Municipal Committee (MC) chairman over the alleged "illegal" auction of more than 200 shops in 13 markets of the city.

A many shopkeepers from different markets organised the protest rally which started from City Bridge and reached Railway Chowk where traders of Anjuman Tajraan Bano Bazar, Railway Road and Flower Market joined the protest rally.

Shopkeepers' leaders Imran Dogar, Haji Islam Noorani, Chaudhry Boota Tahir and Mehmoodul Hassan criticised the anti-traders policy of chairman MC. They said that the high-ups of MC were trying to oblige their favorite councilors through the illegal auction of more than 200 shops but they will resist the unlawful step. They also raised a question mark on the silence of Commissioner Bahawalpur and Deputy Commissioner RYK. They said that these representatives of provincial government were not serious to take any action against the MC step.

Later, the participants of the rally reached MC chairman office where they started chanting slogans against the MC chairman on which Station House Officer city A division Ghulam Dastgir arrested a shopkeeper leader. Other shopkeeper leaders surrounded the police mobile and then SHO released him. The opposition leader in MC Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf with other MC members reached there for express solidarity with the shopkeepers.

He endorsed the demands of shopkeepers and condemned the anti-traders policies of MC. Later, MC Chairman Mian Ijaz Aamir negotiated with shopkeepers and assured them to solve their issue on which the protesters dispersed.