With reports of non-Hindu street vendors being denied permission to do business outside Hindu temples during fairs and annual festivals, the Karnataka Beedi Badhi Vyaapari Sanghatanegala Okkoota has urged the State Government to intervene in the matter.
Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, Okkoota’s State president C.E. Rangaswamy said that the denial of permission to non-Hindu street vendors was against the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, and the Karnataka Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Rules, 2019.
Under these regulations, street vendors can do business by the road side, fairs (both weekly and annual) and festivals. Denial of permission to non-Hindu vendors on religious grounds was unfortunate and would result in loss of livelihood to many, which would negatively impact their families, he said.
The Bengaluru Zilla Beedi Vyaparigala Sanghatanegala Okkoota has also taken a similar stand. Vinay Sreenivasa from the Okkoota told The Hindu that it was both problematic and disturbing that Muslim vendors were being targeted. The State Government which should protect the right to livelihood of all citizens should step in. Instead the government was being very irresponsible, he maintained.
In coastal Karnataka and Malnad region, there have been many incidents being reported of Muslim traders being denied permission to put up shops during festival jatras. For instance, the managing committee of Hosa Marigudi Temple at Kaup in Udupi district did not allot shops/stalls to Muslims in an auction held for the annual ‘Suggi Mari Pooje’ (which is an annual fair) held in the temple on March 22 and 23. Similarly, in Shivamogga, the festival committee decided not to give tenders to Muslim shopkeepers during the Kote Marikamba Jatra festival after protests by Sangh Parivar groups. The committee accepted demands made by leaders of Bajrang Dal, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad and others. Similar demands have been raised in other places as well.