Bandh against temporary market forces Khwairamband and Thangal Bazar closure

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A police personnel tries to control two groups of women confrotning each other at Khwairamband Keithel today. IFP Photo

IMPHAL, January 18: Markets in Thangmeiband Assembly Constituency including Thangal Bazar and the Khwairamband Keithel remained closed today on account of a bandh imposed by the pubic of Thangmeiband opposing the State government’s move to construct a temporary market shed by blocking off Thangal Bazar Road.

The shed is aimed at accommodating displaced vendors of New Market and Laxmi Market which were damaged during the recent earth quake.

At the same time, discontented by the inability of the State government to relocate them, the displaced women vendors of Ima Keithel, have warned they would lodge a complaint to the Prime Minister and Union Law Minister, with regards to the issues if no positive outcome comes about by January 29.

Earlier during the bandh, a group of the displaced women vendors who are currently vending at the road sides of the Thangal Bazar and Khwairamband Keithel entered into a tussle with a group of bandh supporters in the market place.

However, timely intervention of the state police force subdued the tussle from further escalation.

In the meantime, Thangmeiband Kendra Development Organisation (TAKDO) has imposed another bandh tomorrow from 5am to 6 pm in Thangmeiband area and entire Imphal markets opposing the decision of the Government to construct temporary market on the streets of Imphal.

It is learnt that representatives of TAKDO met Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh this evening.

However, both sides failed to come to any understanding owing to which the bandh was imposed, informed a source.

On the other hand, the Thangmeiband United Club (TUC) organised a meeting this morning around 11 and resolved to take other forms of agitation.

It may be mentioned that a women group who were displaced from the Ima market had stormed the residence of Thangmeiband MLA Joykishan for disrupting the construction of the temporary market shed.

Justifying his act, MLA Joykishan claimed that the construction has triggered an uneasy atmosphere in his constituency for the construction has disrupted business activities in the area. It is learnt that the MLA was not consulted before with regards to the construction of the temporary market.

TUC’s resolution mentioned that TUC is not related with politics and condemned the unethical attitude of women group who misbehaved with Thangmeiband MLA.

TUC is conducting a rally on February 6 and has appealed to all to participate in the rally.

Meanwhile, the Road Side Vendors Welfare Association, Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup and Manipur Keithel Phambi Aunpa Lup called a joint press conference today at the Temporary market.

Speaking at the press meet, MKPAL president L Mema asserted that the Prime Minister and Union Law Minister will be apprised to take action against the Manipur government for their negligence in accommodating the women vendors of Ima Keithel displaced by the recent earthquake on January 4.

L Mema further demanded a clarification from the State government on its proposed move to relocate huge number of displaced women vendors in the narrow streets of Thangal Bazaar and along BT road.

Even as the number of the displaced vendors is huge, there are plenty of areas in an around the affected market sheds where the women vendors can be easily accommodated, she said.

According to her, there are plenty of free space on the northern side of the existing temporary market shed, Alu Gali, top floor of Purana Bazaar etc. enough to accommodate maximum number of vendors.

Instead, the government is opting for other options for reasons best known to it alone, she complained.

The leader of the women vendor pointed out that on January 8, the representative of women vendors along with Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Works minister K Ratankumar and Social Welfare minister Ak Mirabai convened a meeting at the Chief Minister’s bungalow.

During the meeting the vendors were reportedly assured by the leaders of the State on starting construction of a temporary market shed at the northern sides of the existing Temporary Market shed, she said.

Unfortunately, in contrary to the assurance made, a notification was issued by the government the same day at around 4pm informing that it has cancelled its decision, said Mema.

Confused by the development, Mema revealed that they had approached minister Mirabai and other concerned authorities enquiring on the cancellation order but none of them claimed to have knowledge about the order, said Mema.

The MKPAL president strongly condemned the cancellation order and demanded the government to clarify on the matter at the earliest.

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