Fish buyers in the fish market near city bus stand saw less fish on Sunday than on other days. The reason is that fish was brought not in at the ‘dhakke' as Sunday was one of the four holidays observed there, said Naveen Bangera, Secretary, Karnataka Purse Seine Boats Fishermen's Association.

He said that Mogaveeras were attending the Mahalakshmi temple ‘jaathre' in Uchila as it was part of their tradition.

Holiday roster

The ‘dhakke' never closes for any reason. Work does not stop for any reason related to politics nor are there any strikes.

Following a meeting held three years ago, among all those who work in the ‘dhakke', it was decided that it would remain closed on four Hindu festivals, three Muslim festivals, and two Christian festivals with people from all communities keeping away from work. “We have all decided to cooperate. Otherwise, we bring the fish and there is no one to lift it,” he said. The dhakke remained closed on Good Friday.

Mr. Bangera said that 90 per cent of the women fish vendors at the ‘dhakke' and the market near State Bank were Mogaveeras. Of the 30,000 people who work at the ‘dhakke', 20,000 were Mogaveeras.

On Sunday afternoon, there appeared to be fewer than the usual number of fisher women in the city bus stand fish market.

Bengre Girija, a Konkani-speaking Kharvi fish vendor in the market near State Bank of India, said she was selling irpe and chigdi bought from Bengre as there was no fish to buy from the ‘dhakke' in Bunder on Sunday.

The other fish vending women were away to attend the ‘jaathre' and she was at the market to sell fish as it was not mandatory for her to attend the ‘jaathre', she said.

Some customers said the fish was being sold on Sunday at a higher price than on other days.

Kalavathi, a fish vendor, said she was selling fish she had bought on Saturday and which she had preserved in ice. She said that she was selling 1 kg of madhmal for Rs. 150 instead of Rs.120 on other days.

‘Empty' market

Sanawar, a customer from Manjanady at the fish market near State Bank of India bus stand, said he came there after finding the ‘dhakke' market empty. He said: “Everything was shut.”

On Monday, the Mogaveeras will not work but people from other communities will at the ‘dhakke', Mr Bangera said.

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