UP Shuts Top Stolen-car Market In Meerut

Story Highlights
  • SHO issued a verbal order to shut shops in Meerut’s Sotiganj.
  • More than 200 police personnel held a flag march in the afternoon.
  • The Sotiganj market grabbed headlines for dealing with dismantled vehicles.

Meerut: One of India’s most flourishing albeit infamous car-breaking and stolen auto-parts markets, Sotiganj in Meerut, was shut on Sunday following a massive crackdown by the police. Cops served a notice under section 91 of the CrPC to the shops to submit records and GST documents, which many don’t have. The closure of the notorious market that saw cars from the most expensive to the cheapest being brought in from Delhi, NCR and many other parts of the country came shortly after the arrest of two kingpins of the illegal trade, Hall Galla and Haji labal.

The market has over 300 shops and employs over 1,000 people. We have identified 100 shops in the market. We will not let them access any goods until they submit stock details,” said the senior superintendent of police (SP) of Meerut Prabhakar Chaudhary. The directions were given verbally by the station house officer (SHO) of Sadar Bazaar, said, traders. To maintain peace and order after the announcement, which caused wide discontent, over 200 policemen conducted a flag march in the market in the afternoon.

Some traders are worried about producing documents they say are hard to collect. “The police are asking us to show documents that most of us don’t have. It’s essentially asking us to shut shop,” said a trader who didn’t wish to be named. “This will only increase crime in the city as all those employed here will now be jobless.” The Sotiganj market became infamous in the 1990s for trading scrap illegally stolen from dismantled cars, at that time mostly from the NCR region. Police have intensified their crackdown on the market over the past three months.

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