Threaten indefinite fast from July 13 if their demands are not met
The street vendors evicted from Central Market and other areas on Thursday formed a human chain near the State Bank Circle on Thursday demanding allotment of an alternative place to carry out their trade.
The street vendors and representatives of different political parties formed a human chain between the State Bank Circle and the Rao and Rao Circle. Dakshina Kannada Pradesh Congress Committee president B. Ramanath Rai, Janata Dal (Secular) State secretary M.G. Hegde, and district secretary Communist Part of India (Marxist) B. Madhava participated in the protest.
Mr. Rai told protestors that the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Mangalore City Corporation Council was causing more harm to the street vendors by continuing eviction without complying with the legal requirement of providing an alternative place. The Council had become a representative of capitalists than the poor citizens, he said.
Mr. Hegde said the Janata Dal (Secular) had filed a complaint with the Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj, who had promised action. Mr. Hegde said his party would take up the cause of the street vendors at the State level and the national level. The BJP people's representatives from the area should work for the cause of people rather than act on the directions of a few local BJP functionaries, he said.
The street vendors expressed their ire against the corporation for the hardship caused by using “Civic Tiger|” vehicle to take away the goods. Rama, a vegetable vendor, said the corporation officials took away three bags of beans estimated at Rs. 2,000 on Wednesday. “It was taken just as I had taken the load from a wholesale dealer,” he said. “I had taken this load after I cleared the credit of Rs. 30,000 with the wholesale dealer by pledging by father's land,” he said.
The seized vegetables were being allegedly sold to hotels, he said.
The vendors said the drive of the corporation had severely hit their income. “They have hit our livelihood. What have we done to face such a situation,” said Ramesh, a vendor who is finding it difficult to maintain his family of five. The corporation officials took away two gunny bags full of carrots estimated at Rs. 3,600 on Wednesday, he said. “I have to thank our association for paying four children's school fees and continuing their education,” he added.
Another vendor A.M. Attaullah said the least the corporation officials could do was to provide on a temporary basis a place to carry out their trade. “We are burdened with huge debt. Please have concern for us,” he said.
CITU district secretary Vasantha Achari said the street vendors would launch an indefinite fast from July 13 if the demands were not complied with.