IMPHAL, April 27: For the second day in succession, normal business around Khwairamband bazar was disrupted following a protest rally organised by street vendors in demand of revocation of the state cabinet decision forbidding street vendors in and around the three Khwairamband market sheds.
Around 600 street vendors took to the streets of Imphal city and staged a rally demanding revocation of the state cabinet decision and allotment of permanent vending space at the now partially vacant temporary market sheds of Khwairamband bazar.
The protestors broke security barricades at BT Road and marched towards the Imphal Raj Bhavan to lodge their complaint with the Governor Gurbachan Jagat.
At the gate of the Raj Bhavan, the protestors tried to knock the Governor’s gate but timely arrival of city police OC and Imphal west OC stopped the protestors and put the situation under control.
Later, two representatives of the women street vendors were allowed to submit their memorandum prepared by the Khwairamband Bazar Vendors Nupi Yaipha Lup to the Governor. A copy of the memorandum was also submitted to the Chief Minister.
After submitting the memorandum to the Governor, the street vendors gathered at the temporary market shed located at Khwairamband bazaar.
In the meantime, the memorandum stated that women street vendors of Khwairamband bazar numbering around 620 have been deprived of any opportunity to get allotment in the vacant temporary Keithel shed. It said concern authorities of the government were repeatedly apprised to affect the allotment. However, in a surprisingly shocking manner instead of providing positive response, the state cabinet had decided to shift the street vendors from Khwairamband bazaar to Lamphel area. Such inhuman act of the government is strongly condemned because Lamphel is outlandish and different from Khwairamband bazaar and at this place the street vendors’ business will fail, the vendors protested.
Further the memorandum mentioned that the government had earlier announced that the street vendors would be accommodated in the vacant temporary shed of Khwairamband bazaar after the inauguration of the three Ima Keithels.
Talking to IFP one street vendor said that she is the sole bread earner of her family and it would be suicidal for her to move to Lamphel, for business would be bleak out there. “What will we sell at Lamphel where there is no customer”; she lamented and vowed to join the agitation till their demands are fulfilled.
Another protestor also said that if the government fails to act positively in the interest of street vendors, various forms of agitation will be launch.