IMPHAL, May 19: Altogether 21 street vendors who were locked in the Imphal central jail since May 5 have been released this late evening. With the release of the 21 street vendors, all the 27 street vendors who were arrested during the protest of the street vendors against the cabinet decision to shift the street vendors to Lamphel have been released. All of them were released with PR bond of Rs 1000 each.
Six of them had been already released on medical grounds on May 14.
Khwairamband Bazar Vendors Nupi Yaipha Lup organised a reception function for the released street vendors at the premise of the MPP office late this evening.
Speaking at the reception function MPP president Dr Nimaichand Luwang clarify that the party indirectly extends cooperation to the street vendors issue with a motive to help the poor daily wage earners. The MPP president also clarify that the party is not involve in the current fiasco of street vendor`™s issue. MPP is only acting as an advisor to the women street vendors, he added.
He further said that the street vendor`™s issue cannot be taken lightly as most of the street vendors have come from far flung places to earn their livelihood all the way to Khwairamband bazar. This has been a tradition since time immemorial, Nimaichand asserted.
He also said that MPP strongly condemned the government action against the street vendors who are only demanding their right to avail vending space at Khwairamband bazar.
He also said that the government`™s current policy on street vendors is devoid of any town planning and hence it cannot be a lasting solution.
While asserting that street vendors have contributed much to the Manipuri society by producing many top ranking officers as well as MLAs and even IAS, Nimaichand also said that the government`™s current policy is like halting livelihood of the poorer section of the society.
In the meantime, speaking exclusively to IFP, some street vendors said they are compelled to turn street vendors due to their poor economic condition. They also condemned the government`™s action of vacating them while those who could afford to pay bribe are being allowed to operate their businness.
Regarding the vending space provided by the government at Lamphel area, the women street vendors contended that the new location is unsuitable to operate their business. Asserting that the new vending space at Lamphel has no customers, the street vendors asked if the government is encouraging them to turn prostitutes.
The street vendors demanded vending space at the upper floor of the three Ima markets at Khwairamband bazar which are currently lying vacant.
Mention may be made that all the 27 street vendors were arrested during a series of protest in demand for revocation of the cabinet decision banning street vendors from the Khwairamband bazaar.