Residents in Kalina are being forced to go without any vegetables because vendors have shut their stalls as a means of protesting against controversial cop Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vasant Dhoble.
Hawkers in the Kalina area said that Dhoble was being unfair towards them and causing much trouble. They said the protest was the repercussion of the raid that ACP Dhoble carried out on Tuesday forcing several of them to bear heavy losses.
Recounting the incident, Kunwar Gupta, who owns a fruit stall, said, “Without any notice, Dhoble carried out the demolition. I was not even allowed to remove my fruits from the stall even though I asked them to let me do so. All of our supplies were damaged.”
Hawkers also alleged that Dhoble was unfair and would regularly penalise them and fine them Rs 1,250 each time he told them to shut their stalls. “Sometimes, he penalises us twice in one day. We don’t have the money to keep paying them. We can’t endure these heavy losses, so we decided to keep our stalls shut for the next few days,” added another hawker.
Dayashankar Singh, president of the Azad hawker union alleged, “Dhoble has several criminal cases against him and he is causing all of us so much of trouble just to clear his name in the public eye.” Singh added that they were also going to meet with the DCP on Friday and decide what action was to be taken. “Dhoble favours the big businessmen and is doing all of this just to cause trouble for us small hawkers.”
Meanwhile, residents in the area will have to continue to suffer. Tanvi Shah, a resident of Kalina said, “I had no vegetables today at home so I went to the market to buy some. But to my surprise everything was shut. I had to go to Santacruz station where only a few stalls are open and where the hawkers charge much more.”
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