Vendor Premlata Gupta pulled out a chopper to threaten the officials
A 40-year-old street vendor from Virar was having none of it when civic officials took action against her for illegal encroachment by confiscating her wares last morning. She chased their vehicle for half a kilometre, made them stop and allegedly took back her goods, at billhook-point!
The officials lodged a complaint with the Virar police, who filed a case against the woman and arrested her in the evening. Identified as Premlata Gupta, she ran a juice stall at Kargil Nagar. Police sources said she was caught during a drive, started by the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation in view of the upcoming Navratri, to remove illegal encroachment from footpaths and roadsides.
Encroachment officer Parbhakar Bhoir and his team took action, confiscating goods and equipment of several vendors, including an icebox and other items from Gupta's stall.
"As I sat in the jeep and left, she started following the vehicle on a Scooty and chased us for half a kilometre before stopping in front of the jeep. She then came running towards us with a billhook in hand and started threatening us to return her goods," said Bhoir.
"I asked her to pay the fee and take back the goods, but she wouldn't listen and kept threatening us. Finally, I called my senior and informed him, and then, left from the spot."
Gupta, however, had a different story. "I was ready to pay the fine, but they took away all my goods from my stall and loaded them in the jeep. I followed them because I wanted my goods back. I told them I was ready to pay the fine, but they refused to listen to me," she said.
Senior inspector Younus Shaikh said, "We have registered a case under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 37 (co-operation by doing one of several acts constituting an offence) of the IPC and arrested her. Further investigation is on."
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