POLITICS

Bengaluru: Shopkeepers & street vendors get into physical brawl over customers | India News

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A fight between street vendors and shopkeepers broke out on SP Road near city market in Karnataka over the issue of setting up shops on the road.

Shopkeepers and street vendors fight over setting up shops on roads

Shopkeepers and street vendors fight over setting up shops on roads | Image: Twitter/Representative

A scuffle broke out between street vendors and traders of commercial establishments on SP Road near city market in Karnataka over the issue of setting up shops on the road, leading to tension. The police immediately intervened and pacified them. 

The scuffle broke out between two youths over the issue of setting up a shop on the footpath and providing mobile service and a fight broke out between them on the road. Locals made a video of it on their mobile phones and circulated it in groups.

Following this, traders on SP Road gathered and closed their shops for some time. The Halasuru Gate police, who rushed to the spot, took the two accused into custody in this connection and interrogated them.

Nawaz Sheikh, a street vendor speaking to Republic said that “we are being targeted repeatedly by shopkeepers, BBMP, and police. We set up our shop by the footpath and do no harm to anyone and carry on with our business. These shopkeepers create a ruckus for every small issue. As it was raining, one of the street vendors stood under the roof of the shop for cover after which he was abused and thrown out. Do they even have any humanity left?”

What actually happened?

A street vendor walked in front of a trader’s shop after it rained. The merchant said, “Why are you going here, go somewhere else?” A quarrel ensued over the issue and the shopkeeper attacked the street vendor. Following this, several street vendors got together and assaulted the shopkeeper.

The shopkeepers association then shut all their shops as a mark of protest and there was tension in the area for sometime before the cops intervened and tried to settle the dispute.

Shopkeepers argue with cops

The cops tried to disperse the protesting shopkeepers who had gathered together. The shopkeepers alleged that they are facing a lot of problems from vendors on the footpath. Babu Shah, a shopkeeper speaking to Republic said that “we have submitted several petitions, applications, and complaints to competent authorities to clear these street vendors but no action has been initiated against them. The BBMP and police department have turned a blind eye to our problems. The street vendors are a nuisance as they block the road and also encroach on the pedestrian walkway making it difficult for everyone.”

What’s the reason for the fight between shopkeepers and street vendors?

A policeman in the know of the issue on condition of anonymity speaking to Republic Media Network said that “There has been fights between street vendors and traders on SP Road for many years. The street vendors take away the customers who come to the traders’ shops by offering them goods at a lesser price which happens every time. This cuts into the business of shopkeepers who have an establishment to run and salaries to pay. The same issue has caused a lot of dissent. We need permission from the BBMP to clear the street vendors.”

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