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IMPHAL, July 12, 2018: Demanding an end to daily harassment by police and the immediate construction of the market shed near Khuman Lampak promised by the chief minister, women street vendors on Wednesday staged a sit-in-protest in front of the Inter State Bus Terminus near Khuman Lampak.
The demonstration opposed the frequent destruction of their market sheds by the government. The most recent incident of such destruction being on Monday.
Ngangom Premabati, the president of the Ima Panthoibi Street Vendors Union, said on Monday all their sheds were suddenly demolished without any notice.
"We know vending on the footpath is prohibited. As the market shed promised to us has not been constructed, we have to trade on the roadside for a living. They have scattered and damaged all our items inhumanely," she added.
"This frequent harassment is strongly condemned. We come out on the street to feed our children and send them to school. The government should stop harassing us. During the Congress government we have submitted innumerable memoranda and also to the BJP-led government," she added.
The new government was formed on March 15 last year.
The agitating vendors said they had met chief minister Biren Singh on the first day of Meeyamgi Numit.
"He told us to meet municipal administration, housing and urban development minister Shyamkumar, saying that funds had been sanctioned for construction of a market for us in Imphal," said Premabati.
Meeyamgi Numit (People's Day) was launched on May 15 with the objective to listen to the people's grievances.
"Shyamkumar also told us that the proposed market shed will be constructed. But the construction has not begun. We are vending here as we have no option. We will continue to vend even if we are forbidden," she said.
The sit-in was organised by the Ima Panthoibi Street Vendors Union and Khuman Ema Keithel.
TNT News with The Telegraph inputs
Image Courtesy: Imphal Free Press