Terror alert holds back weekend shoppers in Delhi


New Delhi : Many shopping hubs in the national capital, usually thronged by weekend shoppers, were Saturday less crowded in the wake of a terror alert by the US and three other countries.

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Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi wore a near deserted look in the evening as was the case in with other shopping centres like Karol Bagh, Sarojini Nagar and Greater Kailash.

“It is relatively less (crowed than) what we usually see on weekends,” said Uttam Kumar who had come to the Lajpat Nagar market with his family.

The city is on high alert following an advisory from the US Saturday warning its citizens of “increased indications” of terrorists planning “imminent attacks” in Delhi. This is the third such US advisory and was immediately followed by Australia, Britain and Canada.

The drop in market footfalls came even as Delhi Police and the home ministry said there was nothing to panic about as the security agencies were geared to thwart any threat.

Ashok Randhawa, a member of the Sarojini Nagar Market Association, told IANS that there was a noticeable fall in the number of customers after the media, particularly TV channels, “played up the terror threat”.

“Hundreds of policemen have been deployed here. People, I think, may be scared to visit crowded places. There is a noticeable fall in the number of customers in comparison to a normal weekend,” Randhawa said.

Khan Market in central Delhi also had a high police presence, Sanjiv Mehra, the president of the market association said.

“Delhi Police gave us an advisory and have asked us to be on high alert. There is a mark difference between usual weekend crowd and what we witnessed today,” Mehra said.

However, Anil Gupta, the president of the Paharganj Market Association, said that he was not aware of any such alert.

“We have no idea about any terror threat in the city,” Gupta said, adding the market was as usual bustling with foreigners.

Metro trains were, however, running to their full capacity.