Kolkata, March 26 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday paid surprise visits to markets, pulling up police officers for shutting shops selling essentials and marking circles to denotie how people should queue up in markets and before retail and wholesale outlets to maintain social distance amidst the ongoing lockdown to prevent spread of Covid-19.
Accompanied by city Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma, Banerjee - with a hankerchief covering her mouth and nose - first reached the wholesale market at Posta in Burrabazar of central Kolkata.
She spoke to the traders and asked them to keep their shop open. However, some of the traders complained that police were forcibly closing down shops by beating up buyers and sellers.
An angry Banerjee asked Sharma why they were not allowing the wholesalers to do their business, and received assurance that everything will be taken care of.
Then some more traders stepped forward and complained about police highandedness. Clearly peeved, the Chief Minister asked for the police officer concerned and gave strict instructions to let the traders do their business smoothly.
The next stop was the market on Free School Street. There Banerjee stressed on social distancing and drew circles to denote how the buyers should stand in queues by maintaining proper social distancing.
From central Kolkata, Banerjee's convoy headed to Gariahat market. There she asked the traders to use hand santizers frequently and gave live demonstration on how they can conduct their business while adhering to safety norms.
Banerjee's last halt was at Lake Market. There she was not satisfied with the distance maintained between two circles for buyers in queue. She took a small brick and started drawing the circles before a shop selling potatoes and onions.
"This is how you should do it. There must be adequate distance between two people," she told the trader.
( With inputs from IANS )