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Clash in Dindigul railway station

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Protest: Shops remain closed at railway station in Dindigul on Thursday.
Protest: Shops remain closed at railway station in Dindigul on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

DINDIGUL: Almost all platform shops at Dindigul Railway station were closed since afternoon owing to a clash among vendors over sale of eatables and other items on platforms and in trains here on Thursday.

False cases

They strongly condemned false cases foisted against 39 vendors by the railway special ticket examining squad.

The wordy duel erupted when two groups of vendors attempted to supersede others in selling eatables to passengers travelling in Guruvayur-Chennai express at the station in the afternoon.

One group of vendors claimed that they were the authorised vendors by the Southern Railway and asked workers in around 15 shops to keep away from stations.

There were heated exchanges. In a fit of anger, some of the workers threw food pockets on the platforms.

In the meanwhile, a special squad from Guruvayur Express fined vendors on the charges of travelling in trains without ticket, workers alleged.

Fine paid

Each vendor paid a fine of Rs.280, ticket charge from Nagercoil to Chennai plus fine.

They also charged that railway officials took action partially in support of a group. Above all, the Railways did not issue licence to anybody to sell food and other items on platforms. Licence was issued to display goods at stalls and sell.

If Railway did not grant license to any vendor for platform sale, why railway officials took action only against a section of workers, questioned vendors who paid the fine. In protest against this, almost all shops in two main platforms were closed till night.

Each vendor has been paying a rent of Rs.700 a day and an advance of Rs.2 lakh, they added.

Platform shop workers announced that the closure strike would continue till an amicable settlement was reached.

Passengers were the worst affected. They struggled to buy even water bottle. Railway workers said many travellers preferred to have food at Dindigul station only.

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