For over two decades, Veeranna and Kalavati, a couple who are speech-impaired, have earned their livelihood by running a sugarcane juice stall near the K.R. Puram Tin Factory.
Last week, when they turned up at their usual spot to vend, they were shocked to discover that their stall had been pulled down, the sugarcane crushing unit dismantled and dumped by the wayside, and all their belongings strewn around.
The couple, who have been allotted a licence by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike under a Labour Department's scheme for people with disabilities, are still reeling from the depredation.
Their space is now being used as parking area for a kitchenware showroom next door.
Those who continue to vend in the area testify to the fact that Mr. Veeranna and Ms. Kalavati, perceived as challenged and powerless, were singled out.
There are six other stalls vending on the pavement, and none of them was touched, though a few were asked to relocate a few yards away.
Bal Krishna, owner of Revanidha Tea Stall, who spoke on behalf of the speech-impaired couple, said: “We want to help them get justice.”
The stall, which was previously under the K.R. Puram police limits, is now under the Mahadevpura police. Local people allege that the police were bribed by the showroom owners. When contacted, the Mahadevpura police denied the charge.