SRINAGAR Scores of vendors held protests against the alleged highhandedness by the Executive officer of Municipal Committee Anantnag and damaging of vending carts on Friday.
Reports said that dozens of carts were either completely or partially damaged by the municipal authorities.
They said that the Municipal council has been taking Rs. 30 per day from the streets vendors and they earn livelihood from vending.
“Today morning the Executive officer abused the venders and thrashed them without any reason,” they said.
G.M Malik, Executive Officer Municipal Committee Anantnag when contacted, told a local news agency that the action in pursuance to the directions by Deputy Commissioner.
“I was under the directions from Deputy Commissioner to take action. The Deputy Commissioner’s vehicle got struck for half an hour because of these cart vendors had blocked the road, he said, adding, My team swung into action during which carts alongside the selling material was seized from the vendors.”
Responding to the allegations levelled by the vendors that they were thrashed and their carts were damaged, Malik said that they barged into the office compound and tried to attack his men. We did it in self defence and I will go to any extent to safeguard my personnel,” he said. However, a video of the incident shows the officer rudely misbehaving with the vendors even an elderly woman.
They argue that their livelihood depends on the street vending but if everyone says this where will the people go. How will traffic ply?”
Malik warned the street vendors of more and strict action if they were seen anywhere on the roads.
“If I find any vendor anywhere on the road, his cart will be destroyed and the material seized and put to public auction. The carts and material seized today will also be put to public auction,” he said.
Meanwhile, Traders Association and Civil Society Anantnag have also condemned the incident and demanded an action against the authorities involved in it.
We demand strict action against the erring official and requested Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Principal Secretary, Director Housing Local Bodies to look into the matter and take relevant action against the erring official,” they said.