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Leaking details of complainants is inexcusable

Updated on: 06 March,2024 06:48 AM IST  |  Mumbai
The Editorial |

In Colaba, there are shopkeepers who claim to have been gheraoed by hawkers or are scared of them

Leaking details of complainants is inexcusable

Representation Pic

It is hawkers versus citizen-activists in what is turning out to be a deadly war with serious implications for this city.

Recently, a senior citizen from Kandivli claimed he was attacked after a recent contempt petition filed in the Bombay High Court over the BMC’s inaction against a hawker takeover of footpath space and a lane.

Earlier, there were claims that a shopkeeper in the Malad station area was attacked. Shopkeepers and citizens across the city claim that their names are leaked by cops, once they complain against illegal hawkers. In Colaba, there are shopkeepers who claim to have been gheraoed by hawkers or are scared of them.

This is a problem across Mumbai and needs immediate, bold action. We can see this exploding into a much bigger, problem with tragic ramifications if allowed to fester.

Clearly demarcated hawking zones and licences are  some ways to start looking at a solution. Constant checks by authorities accompanied by cops will ensure that the situation stays under control. There can be no excuse for leaking complainant details to hawkers, even citing ‘public knowledge’. This is the primary reason people fear complaining to the cops and the reason why justice is never obtained and if it comes,it’s at too high a price.

Nobody should live in fear. Once a complaint is lodged, the investigation needs to begin; if action is warranted, take action and more importantly shield the people from ‘repercussions’.

The proliferation of illegal hawkers is significant, so there are going to be complaints. Citizens may vent on social media. At times, there may be legal hawkers. This is not about the fight but the danger that is escalating every day. This has to be addressed, in a holistic and permanent way.

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