Street vendor alleges police indifference to FIR request

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IMPHAL, July 25: Supported by the Human Rights Law Network, a Khwairamband street vendor today alleged that the City Police had yesterday denied filing an FIR against another street vendor who had assaulted her with an iron rod.

Speaking to this reporter at the HRLN office today, street vendor Saikhom Ngangbi Devi (60), said she was hurt yesterday when a group of street vendors with licenses attacked their group of street vendors who are without licence.

It may be mentioned that Khwairamband licenced street vendors had reportedly attacked another group of street vendors without licence yesterday for vending in and around the Khwairamband keithel.

Alleging that she was denied the right to file an FIR against one Mangi Devi who had hit her with an iron rod yesterday, Ngangbi said she has today submitted a written request to the OC of the City Police station for the registration of the FIR and further appealed for swift and proper action.

The OC had assured her that the accused will be picked up for interrogation at the earliest, she said.

Elaborating on her story, she further alleged that on July 24 at around 3pm, while she was vending dry chillies at the foot of the south-western side of the Nupi Keithel No. 1, one Mangi Devi of Thanga village and presently residing at Kakwa, assaulted her using an iron rod.

As a result of which, she sustained injury on her head and started bleeding, she alleged.

She said she had been eking out a livelihood for herself and her family of two differently abled daughters and two grandsons left behind by a deceased daughter.

Meanwhile, another vendor who identified herself as I Devarani said that the non licence holding street vendors are frequently harassed by the licence holders and the police in the Khwairamband bazaar area.

She alleged that whenever the media flashes reports of such assault and disclose their identities and vending spaces, the next day they face the ire of the police and other licence holding street vendors.

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