Police uses force to thwart street vendors’ protest rally

Police uses force to thwart street vendors’ protest rally

By Ishfaq Reshi
SRINAGAR: Police used force on Tuesday over the street vendors protesting against the government’s ‘failure’ to provide them a suitable site to do business.
Scores of vendors took out a protest march on the second consecutive day against the delay in their relocation.
Raising anti-government slogans, they tried to march towards the Civil Secretariat. However, the police used force to prevent them from moving beyond Jahangir Chowk.
The police used batons, water cannons, and tear smoke to disperse the protesters.
“It is dictatorship,” a protester said. “We have been protesting for the last several days, but the government is unmoved.”
The vendors said they would not let the government play with their livelihood.
“We will fight till our demands are fulfilled,” they said.
The government has asked the vendors, who used to operate around Lal Chowk, to do business at the SRTC Yard near Ganta Ghar. For the others, it has identified sites close to the areas where they used to operate on the roadsides.
The vendors are, however, refusing to accept the alternatives, saying they are not suitable for their business. The vendors have been on a protest for the last several days in the tents set up by them near Jahangir Chowk.
“If the government fails to relocate us soon, we will come out on the roads along with our families. Our families are starving,” they said.