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Ambedkar Bhavan protests: Opticians take a hit

As Dalit protestors wound their way through Dadar yesterday, it was Gangar Opticians that bore the brunt when the demonstration turned violent and a paver block came flying through the glass front door of the landmark store at Dadar TT.

Eyewear store at Dadar TT was attacked with a paver block that smashed its glass front door and damaged products. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Eyewear store at Dadar TT was attacked with a paver block that smashed its glass front door and damaged products. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Store manager Nilesh Shah recalled, “It must have been around 2 pm; there were 12-15 staff members in the store. Suddenly we saw a substantial crowd outside — there must have been at least 100 people around the bend. Without any warning, there was a resounding crash — somebody had hurled a paver block at the front door.”

Fortunately, no one was hurt. “Shards of glass flew, but all of us ran to the back of the store. It was a chilling moment. The first counter had been damaged and at least 30-35 spectacle frames and sunglasses had been broken. But no one was hurt, so we consider ourselves lucky,” added Shah.

It could have been a lot worse. “Just 15 minutes before the incident, we had eight people in the shop trying on frames. They would have definitely been hurt if they were inside. We shut our shop on Saturday evening since there was tension in the air. Last morning, though, all seemed normal. They did not even warn us to close the shop,” he said, adding, “There is an air of trepidation and uncertainty. This store has been witness to plenty in nearly four decades of its existence here, but never has it been attacked like it was yesterday.”

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