Street vendors join Arvind Kejriwal’s protest action at Krishi Bhawan

Street vendors join Arvind Kejriwal’s protest action at Krishi Bhawan in Delhi demanding passage of street vendors’ bill by Rajya Sabha in coming February session of parliament and stop on rampant extortion of money by police and municipal agencies

New Delhi, 21 January:

Beating winter chill and rain more than a thousand street vendors under the banner of National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) on Tuesday joined the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s protest action at the Krishi Bhawan near parliament demanding passage of the street vendors’ bill by the Rajya Sabha in coming February session of parliament and stop on rampant extortion of money by police and municipal agencies.

They put up huge banners at the police barricades reading, “Make Delhi Police Accountable to Common People Like Street Vendors/ Fight for Stop on Police Extortion/Fight for Police Reform”.

The street vendors were led by NASVI national coordinator Arbind Singh along with other NASVI functionaries and street vendor leaders.

On Monday also, the street vendors had joined the protest action calling upon Mr. Kejriwal to get them liberated from the menace of extortion of police and municipal inspectors. The street vendors’ body has called upon the street vendors of Delhi to keep organizing anti-extortion meetings in their markets and join the protest action being undertaken by Mr. Kejriwal for cleansing the corrupt police system.

“Extortion of money from working poor like street vendors is a big scar on the face of the police and the civic bodies. It runs in hundreds of crores every year. The municipal inspectors and the police station area constables collect money from vendors and in cases of denial by the vendors, the incidence like arm twisting, harassment, victimization and forced eviction takes place”, Mr. Singh said citing incidents like the one that occurred in Vasant Kunj area in Delhi last week.

“Many a times the blue eyed boys of civic body and police officials turn up to the stalls of vegetable and fruit vendors and take stuffs as ‘normal customers’ without paying the prices of the goods. Not just that, the corrupt municipal authorities and the police officials ink business deals with the big traders and a section of the Resident Welfare Associations to harass and fleece the vendors”, said another NASVI functionary.

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