Coronavirus Outbreak: MP intervenes to quell fishermen's protest

Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 07:13 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Kolis furious with state government for disallowing fishing despite Centre's green light

Members of the Koli community stepped out in Malad on Friday to discuss the protest, wherein they would come out in large numbers
Members of the Koli community stepped out in Malad on Friday to discuss the protest, wherein they would come out in large numbers

A situation frighteningly similar to the one at Bandra station last week, could have taken place at Malad soon, after fishermen vowed to come onto the streets, to protest against the authorities not allowing them to do business, though the union government has lifted certain lockdown conditions. The situation was diffused following intervention by a local Member of Parliament (MP).

Last week, the union government announced partial relaxation in the lockdown, and allowed agriculture and fishing related activities to start. Accordingly, the Koli community from Malad and surrounding areas had geared up to start business.

In fact, some of them even started venturing into the waters for a catch. But soon they started facing resistance from government agencies. "For ages we have been drying fish on the shore. But, last week some of our community members were stopped from doing this. Even while transporting and selling fish, our members were stopped . Finally, we decided to stage a protest," said a fisherman.

However, when Gopal Shetty, BJP MP from North Mumbai, came to know about the development, he immediately called up the police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials, and visited the hamlets of this community. The plans for the protest were shelved following the intervention and assurance of Shetty on bringing things to normalcy.

The BJP MP claimed that going by current situation, cooling down the issue with an amicable solution was the only agenda on his mind when he went to the spot. "I asked the Koli community members not to do anything new and continue business as they have been doing traditionally. At same time, I requested government agencies not to come up with any new restrictions, and allow the business as it was done earlier," Shetty said.

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