Traffic cops breaking law at Secunderabad: Street vendors
Police deny committing excesses and claim their behaviour within bounds of duty
Secunderabad: Street vendors have alleged harassment by the traffic police at Secunderabad railway station, which has been denied by the police officials. Leaders representing vendors hold that the way the police are dealing with the issue amounts to violation of the Street Vendors Act 2014.
There are about 70-80 street vendors who are facing hardship to run their business at Secunderabad---from Ganesh temple to the railway station. The Mahankali traffic police are not allowing them to conduct business after 4 pm in violation of the Act, allege street vendors.
According to them, for the past three months the traffic police have been asking them to run the stalls from 1 to 4 pm every day. If they continue sales later, the police are resorting to harassment and imposing fine.
"In spite of having identity cards, which is recognition that we are selling in a particular area, for the past three months the traffic police have been harassing us. They are not allowing us to run stalls after 4 pm. Three hours is not sufficient for us to run our business, as arranging/removing our products takes at least half hour. We are able to sell hardly for one hour," said Mohammad Riyaz, a street vendor, who sells footwear near the railway station.
"The police and officials are part of town standing committee and are having equal responsibility to implement the Act. But it is distressing to note that the Mahakali traffic police are harassing vendors by evicting and imposing penalty. This action of the police constitutes violation of the Act. It is a blatant violation of Articles 19 and 21 and violation of human rights of the poor who are earning their livelihood by street vending/hawking," said Venkat Mohan, president, Telangana Street Vendors and Hawkers' Union.
The police denied committing excesses and claimed that their behaviour was within bounds of duty. "This area is always packed with people and has not yet been declared under any zone. Even though vendors are allowed to carry on business, as evening is peak hour--when there is traffic congestion--we have asked the vendors to shut stalls after 4 pm," said G Ramesh, ACP, Mahankali Traffic Police.