Mumbai: Taking cognizance of complaints about hawkers misbehaving with citizens, especially women, police chief Rakesh Maria has decided to take matters into his own hands.
In a letter to municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte, Maria assured that maximum police security will be provided to the BMC to take action against illegal hawkers. “Our men are busy in post-poll bandobast. Once results are declared, we will provide teams to civic officials when they go to take action against illegal hawkers anywhere in the city,” said Maria.
BMC sources said they will start a drive against illegal hawkers near stations first and spread out across the city.
There have been several instances of hawkers assaulting civic officials on eviction drives. On May 9, hawkers assaulted a civic lorry licence inspector, Pradeep Deole, and a tempo driver during an eviction drive in Ghatkopar. The Pant Nagar police arrested two hawkers, Raju Kathewadi and Ketan Kathewadi. “We have been trying to get the BMC to evict hawkers in Vile Parle for a long time now, but they keep saying they don’t get police protection. With Maria taking this proactive step, eviction drives should begin,” said Rajni Vats of the K-West Residents’ Association.
The Times of India, May 12, 2014