As if there was any less drama at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) onion potato market at Vashi, thanks to the prices of onions fluctuating every day, things took an ugly turn on Friday after a fight between the workers (known as mathadi kamgars) and a trader got out of hand. As a mark of protest, traders decided to shut their shops on Saturday.
The APMC onion potato market, which is abuzz with activity from 8 am, saw traders setting up shop only around 12 noon on Saturday after a public meeting was held between them and the workers. Ashok Walunj, director of the APMC onion potato market told SUNDAY MiD DAY, “The fight took place on Friday. But we called for a meeting of the traders and the workers to ensure that such an incident does not take place again.” On Friday morning, a fight between a tempo driver and few workers, which started at the main gate of the APMC market reached Ayodhya Prasad, a potato trader’s shop at ‘G’ lane of the market. The workers physically assaulted Prasad, whose brother owned the tempo, and its driver.
Prasad, who suffered internal injuries, said, “The tempo driver and the workers had a fight and the workers reached our shop as the tempo is owned by my brother. They got extremely aggressive and hit me. Thankfully, other traders came to my rescue and informed the police.” The APMC police arrested 16 people who were produced in court on Saturday.
Narendra Patil, leader of the Mathadi Kamgar Union, said that he had requested the traders to begin business as usual on Saturday. “But they were waiting for an assurance that such an incident would not occur again. So we decided to have a meeting with them. Such incidents affect business. Finally, the farmer has to bear the brunt as he is the one who doesn’t get a good price for his produce,” said Patil.
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