Woman street vendors curse against police extortion

Who Street Vendors who are selling vegetables, fruits and home use items have been facing everyday police extortion in the name of prohibition of selling along the road side and footpath in the Imphal market area.

Everyday police personnel at different intervals come to us asking everyday asking for money if we have to sell along the street side, said a vegetable seller who was selling coriander at Thangal Bazar roadside who denied disclosing to her name. “Each of them of who approach us demands to pay Rs. 10 and even Rs. 20; if we don’t pay they scattered our selling items saying don’t you know trading here is prohibited”, added the lady talking to Pothashang.

Saying that they have to pay at the range of Rs. 80 to Rs. 100 per day, the vendor said, we pay for we need to earn our living and support our children with the meagre profit we get. We have to sell at higher price again. “We have been demanding the government to give a proper market place for us, but still we have to face this extortion while we are struggling to sell under the sky”, said the vendor.

In the morning a team of Imphal Municipal Corporation comes with loud speakers to vacate the area along the roadsides in the market area and they take away our selling items if we don’t run in time. Later the police will come and ask for money to allow us sit to sell.

The Rajya Sabha had passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2014. The Bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban street vending in the country. The provisions of the bill are aimed to create a conducive atmosphere for street vendors to carry out their business.

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