Day 3: Street vendors continue protest; to stage ‘secretariat gherao’ on Friday

Day 3: Street vendors continue protest; to stage ‘secretariat gherao’ on Friday

By Ishfaq Reshi
SRINAGAR: Street vendors, who have been asked to do business only at designated sites, continued with their protest for the third consecutive day on Wednesday for suitable relocation, even as they have decided to stage ‘secretariat gherao’ on Friday.
To decongest the city roads, the vendors have been barred by the government from operating at the roadsides, while specific areas have been earmarked for them to do the business.
The administration has proposed SRTC Yard for displaced Lal Chowk vendors, Sector 7 for vendors at Batamaloo, and Farmyard for the street vendors of Lal Mandi.
The vendors are, however, opposing the move because they believe the new sites would affect their business. They have been staging rallies and sit-ins to demand “suitable relocation”.
Speaking with Kashmir Reader, president of the vendors’ union, Mohammad Shafi, said they have decided to cordon the Civil Secretariat on Friday to press for their demands.
“We want to convey a message to the coalition government that we would continue with the protest till our grievances are redressed,” he said.
Meanwhile government has issued SRTC to the vendors of Lal-Chowk and has proposed a land at Batamaloo sector-6, Malaysia site and Farmyard for rest of the vendors in the adjacent areas of the Lal-Chowk, officials said.
On Tuesday, police used force to thwart a protest march held by the vendors. Raising anti-government slogans, they had tried to march towards the Civil Secretariat. However, the police had used batons, water cannons, and tear smoke to disperse the protesters.
The protesters threatened to bring their families onto the streets if their demands were not accepted by the government.