Protests against Encroachment of Street Vendors’ Space In Delhi

CPI(ML), AICCTU and CITU organized a massive demonstration on 30 August 2019 at the Noida Authority Sector 6 for pucca licenses for vendors and against the encroachment on vendors by Central and State governments and Development Authorities. The protest in which thousands of vendors participated was led Gangeshwar Dutt (CITU) and Shyam Kishore Yadav (AICCTU).

Earlier, a protest demanding pucca licenses for vendors was organized on 21 August at the Delhi Secretariat against encroachment against vendors in Mayur Vihar Phase 3 and other areas by the Central government, Delhi government, Delhi Police and East Delhi Municipal Corporation. The protest was led by CPI(ML) State Secretary Ravi Rai, Eastern District NCR Secretary Shyam Kishore Yadav, Mala Devi, Amarnath Tiwari, Chandrabhushan and other leaders.

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The Delhi-Rehdi-Khokha-Patri Mahasangh demanded from the Delhi government:

  • Guarantee that not a single street vendor in Delhi will be evicted and all will be assured of their right to livelihood.
  • Lakhs of people in Delhi earn their livelihoods from Khokha-Patri (footpaths). Most street vendors were not included in the 2008-2009 Survey, after which our organization as well as other organizations have consistently demanded that the names of all vendors should be included in the list, but the concerned officials kept saying that currently survey work is not being done.
  • Unsocial elements frequently harass and attack the working people who earn their livelihoods from the footpaths, but the problems of the poor go unheard by the police. We demand that the government should immediately intervene and take adequate measures to ensure the safety and security of street vendors.
  • Recently, the street vendors of Mayur Vihar Phase 3 (opposite CRPF camp) Pocket A have been illegally evicted. There was no obstruction to traffic or people at the place where these street vendors had been running their shops for the last 30-35 years. By evicting them, the local authorities have violated the laws made for street vendors and snatched away the livelihoods of the poor.
  • At this place, a woman selling bhutta (roasted corn) on the footpath was attacked and injured on 8 August in the name of RWA (Residents Welfare Association). After strong protests by the public the police registered an FIR but have taken no action in the matter. On the contrary, the police are threatening the victim woman to withdraw the case. The poor woman vendor is not even getting proper treatment for her injuries which include a broken hand. We demand that the government should take immediate action and arrest the accused persons who have been named.
  • We demand that the Delhi government should guarantee the livelihoods of all footpath vendors and stop any kind of action to evict them in the name of MCD, RWA, or any other persons or organizations, because such an attack is a criminal act and the police/government should take action against such people.