New Delhi: Retail major Subhiksha Trading Services, whose business has come to a standstill due to liquidity crunch, said around 600 of its stores and warehouses across the country have witnessed incidents of vandalisation and ransacking in the past few days.
Several of the company’s properties including the ones at Noida, South Delhi and Nashik were vandalised and its warehouse in Ahmedabad ransacked on 6 February.
“Around 600 of our stores have been targeted by unidentified elements and there has been large-scale looting and ransacking,” Subhiksha Trading Services managing director R Subramanian told PTI.
He said the company’s properties had become vulnerable as it had not been able to make payments to security agencies and staff, thus leaving the stores and warehouses unprotected.
“The company seems unable to protect its properties as due to non-payments to security agencies and staff, the properties have become vulnerable targets for looters,” he said.
Discount retailer Subhiksha had announced last week that it is facing a financial crisis and that its operations are at a standstill. It had also admitted that due to high leverage it was unable to access funds over last 6-8 months and that it is in default of rents and salaries over the last many months apart from dues to vendors.
Enquiries reveal that the company is not able to even register an FIR with the police or seek action from police to protect its properties. Company staff who are fed up with non payment of salaries for four months are in no mood to file complaints on behalf of the company as they believe that they may be targeted for violence by the looters.
Asked about the identity of the suspects involved in the vandalisation, Subramanian said, “At a time when our business is at a standstill and our properties unprotected, any anti-social element could target them.”
He said the company had taken steps to protect its assets.