PESHAWAR               -               As the government re­laxed the lockdown, people swarmed the markets in the provincial capital Peshawar on Monday while the district administration arrested over 60 people, mostly trad­ers, and also sealed around 20 major stores in Saddar and at University Road for violating the social distanc­ing guidelines.

Crowds of people were seen in the markets, includ­ing garments shops, food and non-food items and others and the social dis­tancing norm was not ob­served anywhere. Various roads in Peshawar also wit­nessed frequent traffic jams on Monday.

Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali Asghar said that the administration, be­sides the arrests, also im­posed Rs80,000 fine on traders.

The administration warned the traders of more action if the directives aimed to contain the conta­gion were not followed.

However, traders said that the administration was com­mitting an injustice towards the trader community by ar­rests and fines.

“They are just imposing fines to fill the national kit­ty through this way,” said a trader union leader in Sadd­ar.

Ilyas Bilour, head of the Businessmen Forum of the Sarhad Chamber of Com­merce and Industry (SCCI), told The Nation that the dis­trict administration is tak­ing unjust measures.

“The traders suffered for two months under a com­plete lockdown, and now when they have resumed their businesses, how they can ask the customers not to enter their shops and stores,” said Ilyas Bilour.

He said that the district administration should de­pute own staff and police­men to ensure implementa­tion of the anti-corona SOPs and also to allow a limited number of customers into big stores and markets to avoid overcrowding in such premises.

President of Peshawar traders union, Shahid Khan, also said that it is not pos­sible to forbid such a large number of people to crowd markets.