CHITRAL: Street vendors, mostly pushcart holders, selling fruits and vegetables in Chitral bazaar on Saturday took out a protest rally and later held a press conference against local traders and the traffic police for allegedly harassing them and trying to deprive them of their right to earn a livelihood for their families.
The vendors launched the protest against what they said the traffic police’s highhandedness at the behest of the traders union in order to remove the vendors to give a free hand to the shopkeepers to fleece the consumers.
The vendors took out rally from the bazaar and reached outside the press club where their representatives told local reporters that most of the small vendors were educated people and were selling fruits and vegetables to earn a living for their families.
“Our only fault is that we are selling fruits and vegetables at comparatively lower rates than the traders attracting more customers. The shopkeepers consider this against their interest and want to dislodge us from the bazaar area,” said the leaders of the vendors, including Naseemullah, Nseeb Gul, Hameedullah, Muhammad Khan, Rahim Zada and Mahabat Khan at the press conference.
They said for the last many weeks the traffic police had not only been harassing them on different pretext but were also openly insulting them at the behest of the traders union president Shabbir Ahmed.
They said the PTI government in KP never tired of claiming to make reforms in the police department but it was silent on the highhandedness of the traffic police in Chitral.
The called upon the deputy commissioner and the district police officer to take notice of the issue and stop harassment of the vendors at the hands of the traffic police otherwise the vendors along with their carts would be forced to stage a protest sit-in outside the DC or DPO office. –Syed Nazir Hussain Shah