Vendor dies of cardiac arrest, family cries foul

A 60-year-old vendor at Sarojini Nagar died due to heart attack allegedly after his documents were taken by New Delhi Municipal Council during an anti-encroachment drive.

Vinay Kumar Pandey suffered a stroke on Saturday evening and died while he was on his way to a hospital, following which the vendors operating in the market protested with his body in the area against the NDMC’s “high-handedness”.

Pandey did not have legal documents to operate in the area and according to his family members, officials from New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had asked for a “hefty” bribe to let him run his cloth shop in the market.

According to his daughter Meenakshi, her father went into depression after this and suffered a heart attack on Saturday.

However, the civic body denied the allegations and said the documents were taken for a survey being conducted as a part of its anti-encroachment drive.

“We did not ask anyone to shut their shop. This is an ongoing drive as per the Supreme Court order in many areas including Connaught Place. On Saturday, we were just collecting documents for a survey in this connection and the whole process is on video,” said an official of NDMC.

According to police, the man, who is survived by a wife, two sons and one daughter, died a “natural death” on his way to Narayana Hospital.

“He suffered a stroke on Saturday evening. We have not registered any case till now as he died a natural death,” a police officer said.

Following his death, scores of vendors operating in the area gathered at the market with Pandey’s body and protested against the civic body’s “harassment” and shouted anti-NDMC slogans.

The body was later taken by police for post-mortem.  However, Secretary of Sarojini Nagar Traders Association (SMTA), Pramod Kumar said Pandey was a heart patient and was admitted in the hospital before also.

“The vendors who are operating illegally in the market are using the death as a tool against NDMC’s drive,” he said.

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