Drive against street vendors sparks clashes

SOPORE: Clashes erupted between police and street vendors in North Kashmir’s Sopore town on Wednesday after Municipality Committee Sopore with the help of police started a drive to vacate the hundreds of vendors from streets and footpaths. The street vendors resorted to heavy stone-pelting while the police used tear-smoke shells to disperse the agitated street vendors.

According to reports Municipality employees and police party started a extensive encroachment drive in Sopore town including Iqbal Market, General Bus Stand and Main Chowk to clear the footpaths, pavements from the encroachments made by the shopkeepers and street vendors.

During the drive, the vendors whose goods were seized by the anti- enforcement team staged demonstrations against police and Municipality officials. The vendors pelted stones on police and raised slogans against them.

Traffic came to standstill while shopkeepers downed their shutters. Police used tear-gas shells to disperse the protestors. At least two truck loads with material like stool, weigh, scale , counters, drums, banners and other items  were seized.

Executive Officer, Sopore Municipality Abdul Latif told CNS that the Committee will not allow these vendors to make general public suffer. “We will rehabilitate those vendors at proper places who are on our records and ensure that nobody encroach the road that hampers traffic movement,” he said. 

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