Vendors oppose cops' action

Tense moments were witnessed on Sampige Road 8th Cross in Malleswaram, after traders and street vendors, who resisted sudden eviction by police, staged a protest on Wednesday.

The face-off was a result of the impending visit of the Commissioner of Police B G Jyothiprakash Mirji, who had recently declared Sampige Road as a model road.

Accordingly, cleanliness had to be maintained on the road with pedestrian-friendly pavements and no parking of vehicles on the stretch. Mirji’s visit at a short notice created a flutter in the Malleswaram police station, with officers immediately taking action against street vendors, who had allegedly occupied the pavements. A team of policemen led by Sub-Inspector Srinivas tried to evict the vendors but the latter resisted. Fearing backlash from Mirji, the policemen seized the materials including garments and CDs.

Some of the traders who supported the vendors also had to face the music as the police seized their generator sets, kept on the pavements.

The angry traders planned to take out a rally up to the police station but later abandoned their plans. A local leader, Rajendra, alleged that the police atrocities had made their lives miserable as they did not allow use of even an inch of pavement.

However, Srinivas said there had been instances of pick-pocketing by young children. Narrow pavements make pedestrians a soft prey for pick-pockets. Also, with vendors blocking the pavements, pedestrians are at risk as they are forced to walk on the busy Sampige Road, he said.

“The action was necessary as accidents were quite frequent on this road. Besides pedestrians walking on the road, vehicle parking too had narrowed this important road of the City,” Srinivas added.

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