Food vendors protest police action at Mela

Food vendors protest police action at Mela

Sub-committee forced to extend Food Mela till October 6

A section of food vendors at the ongoing Dasara Food Mela at Scouts and Guides grounds behind the deputy commissioner’s office here on Thursday, staged a flash protest against the authorities concerned, especially the police personnel for allegedly forcing to pack them off ahead of the scheduled time.

However, the authorities concerned succeeded in restoring peace, by making it official that the Mela will be held for two more days up to October 6.

Stalls selling non-vegetarian food at ‘E’, ‘H’, ‘G’ and ‘H’ blocks had remained closed due to the ban on sale of meat on account of Gandhi jayanti. However, when the police personnel were making preparations to turn the said blocks into a parking lot, the vendors took exception to the same.

Unwilling to let go of the business for the day, they had come prepared with vegetarian dishes. But, when the police allegedly insisted that they to vacate the stalls, the peeved vendors staged a protest in front of the main entrance.

The vendors contended that though they had paid Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 in the form of rent for stalls for a span of one week, copious rains witnessed in the recent days had hit their business. 

It was unfair on the part of the police to vacate them, they alleged. At one point of time, the aggrieved vendors resorted to call off the protest, if the authorities concerned refunded the rent.

Learning about the protest, Senior Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies Department K S Rameshwarappa, also the Working President of Dasara Food Mela sub-committee, arrived at the spot and tried to pacify them.
 Siding with the police, the official made an attempt to explain the vendors that it was inevitable to vacate the stalls as the police deputed on security duty at the ground had to be shifted elsewhere to cater to the Dasara rush, after Jamboo Savari, but the protesters did not budge.

Eventually, President of the sub-committee Suresh Kumar Jain succeeded in brokering the truce, as it was officially announced that instead of October 3 and 4, the Food Mela would be held on October 5 and 6. 

“It had been already decided to extend the mela for two more days, as it was being closed two days ahead of Jamboo Savari earlier. It was due to the communication gap, the police presumed that the Mela was closed for the day,” he added.