Hawkers threaten RTI activist over complaint

After Sanjay Gurav demanded action against food stalls operating illegally on Mumbai University premises in Fort, hawkers sent him death threats

After a Fort-based RTI activist took it upon himself to free the Mumbai University premises in South Mumbai of illegal hawkers, he became the latest victim to be threatened with murder by the latter.
Last Monday, Sanjay Gurav (45) registered a non-cognisable (NC) complaint with the Azad Maidan police station for getting threats from hawkers who, he alleged, are working in connivance with certain university officials.

Under threat: Activist Sanjay Gurav discovered through RTI that the hawkers on Mumbai University campus in Fort have been operating without any permit or licence

Gurav, a social activist, recently obtained information through RTI from the BMC that vendors who run tea and snack stalls on the premises of the University -- a heritage building -- do not have any permission or licence to do so. He further claimed that the hawkers are being sheltered by university authorities.

On November 8, Gurav complained to civic, police and university authorities, demanding action against the stall owners. He said that the Supreme Court has declared the area a non-hawking zone. Further, citing the terror attack at Khau Galli, he claimed that gas cylinders used by the hawkers could pose a potential threat.

On Monday, when he visited the university premises to speak with its security officials, a hawker walked up to him and said that if he did not stop complaining against them, the hawkers would kill him, Gurav said. "He also threatened me that he would implicate me in a false extortion case," he added.

"I have registered a police complaint and also met Assistant Commissioner of Police Shashikant Satav regarding the matter," said Gurav.

ACP Satav said, "Gurav has registered a complaint in the police station. The investigation is going on."

Incidentally, it was after his constant complaints to the police that the authorities acted to free the university premises of eunuchs who were seen to be creating a nuisance in the area with their soliciting activities for the last three years.

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