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Women street vendors scuffle with police

IMPHAL | Jul 27 : Women street vendors vending at Khwairamband Ima Market today got into a scuffle with Imphal city police over using abusive words allegedly by police personnel while vacating the vendors.

The police personnel were vacating the vendors for vending beyond the allotted time.

Irom Devarani, a street vendor said that all the street vendors, numbered around 4000 are economically backward and situation compelled them to courageously struggle for livelihood along the roadsides in the scorching heat.

She said that since July 6, after the state government issued an order giving them an allotted time for selling items in and around Khwairamband Market during 8 pm to 10 pm and 5 am to 8 am, their earning have been reduced drastically. “We fail to run our kitchen,” she complained.

Considering the unbearable problems, she said that they requested state government to make some changes in the given time schedule as the time provided to us is too odd and difficult to manage it.

“It is very unusual to do shopping at night in the state. In the morning, people from far flung areas cannot reach market so early. So in this restricted odd hour, how will we earn our livelihood?” she lamented.

The vendors denounced the government for not taking up proper welfare measures for the street vendors specially the women.

They asked why the present government is not able to fulfil their demand and wipe out poverty as they keep saying “We are people oriented government and always think for the welfare of poor people.”

Talking to reporters, officer in-charge of city police, inspector N. Ingocha said as a law enforcing agent, the police have to perform instructed duties. “We never do anything wrong to vendors and always evicted them with respect and dignity,” said the police officer.

He said, “We know street vendors are too busy in engaging everyday business activity and thus we try to make them understand the problem created to public by selling things at road sides. They never understand and problems arise.” Therefore repeated awareness provision is very essential, he maintained.

Since the Imphal city is going to upgrade to a smart city, it is mandatory to keep the premises of the only women market in Asia, Khwairamband Ima Market, clean and free from traffic congestion.

“Thinking for the welfare of the public, we will continue to perform our duties,” he added.

~IFP

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