with love to indore

Saturday, May 15, 2010

our own singur : story of women vendors of Itwaria







with active connivance of local MLA who happens to be a woman, local councillor who is from congress ..prime piece of real estate was freed in name of heritage road ...

though on the other end of heritage road rich merchants including one sindhi apparel brand have encroached road so much that even a four wheeler can not pass.
Said MLA has made a multi story in this part of city where fire tenders can never reach

and what about the temple in the middle of road? is not that an encroachment?



but brunt is always bore by poor...

from SEWA website

Struggle of Sewa MP against Harassment and Violence with Vendor Members by Municipal Corporation and Police at Indore (MP)


A brief Report

by


Shikha Joshi
Santosh Malviya




Swashriyee Mahila Sewa Sangh Madhya Pradesh
(Ek sangthan, Ek Andolan; Zameen Se Asamaan tak)
96-B, Vaishali Nagar, Annapurna Road,
Indore – 452 009 (MP)
Struggle of Sewa MP against Harassment and Violence with Vendor Members by Municipal Corporation and Police at Indore (MP)


In 2002, the Govt. of India declared a National Policy for the benefit of urban poor and passed orders for its implementation to the state government. Madhya Pradesh government implemented National Policy for Street Vendors in May 2006.




This policy included Identity cords, License, Hawkers Zone, Credit Facility, Insurance, Ward Committee, Town Committee, Skill training etc.
It is clearly mentioned in the National Policy thatno street vendor should be forcefully evicted. They would be relocated with adequate rehabilitation only where the land is needed for a public purpose of urgent need. Therefore:
a) Eviction should be avoided wherever feasible unless there is clear and urgent public need in the land in question.
b) Where relocation is absolutely necessary, notice of minimum 30 days should be served to the concerned vendors.
c) Affected vendors/ representative’s involvement in planning and implementation of the rehabilitation project.
d) Affected vendors should be assisted in their efforts to improve their livelihoods and standards of living or at least to restore them, in real terms to pre-evicted levels.
e) Loss of assets should be avoided and if possible compensated.
f) State machinery must take comprehensive measures to check and control the practice of forced evictions.

There is about 50000-60000 vendors in Indore city and about 100 vendors, out of which more than 50 vendors are female and members of Sewa MP, sell their goods; fruits, vegetables etc. at Itwariya market of Indore city, Madhya Pradesh. This Itwariya market is oldest vegetable market of Indore.
On June 09, 2009, removal team of Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) reached at Itwariya market and wanted to remove this market on the name of encroachment. Only two days before IMC announced through loudspeakers in the market that market is illegal and encroached by the vendors. IMC has declared this road as Heritage Road; therefore market will be removed from here.

On June 09, removal gang of IMC and policemen of concerning police station (Malharganj Thana) was ready to remove these vendors from their space. Members of Sewa MP called at the office to inform about this illegal removal. After that four organisers of SEWA MP, Ms. Rajmani Swami, President, Sewa MP, Mrs. Bhanumati Rimza, Mrs. Raju Sunhare, Ms. Chanda Bhaur were also gone at the market and tried to convince to IMC officers, removal officer, that it is against the National and State Policy for Street Vendors and should be given prior notice before one month and provided alternative space to venders for their livelihood.

IMC officers and removal officer didn't response and not given two hours to collect the goods of venders and ordered to police to remove venders from their place. Police started lathi charge to vendors especially women vendors to disperse them. Male police and municipal officers and removal gangman also charged lathis on innocent vendors especially on women. Male IMC official and police man used vulger abused, slapped to old age members on their faces, brutally beaten with lathi, torn their sarees, pulled of women top-knot (women's heir), and pulled to them on road. Thana Incharge (TI) also slapped and beated to Rajmaniben, Bhanuben, and pulled them into police van brutally. Handcarts, small stalls/shops of the vendors and their goods such as fruits, vegetables were demolished with the help of JCB machine and seized all including their pair of scales/balance (taraazu) by the Municipal Corporation.

After lathi charging, police caught 12 persons; 9 women, Rajmani Swami, Bhanumati Rimza, Chanda Bhaur, Rajubai Sunhare, Tarabai Ramawtar, Sunitabai Narayanraj, Keshar Mahendra Chouhan, Godawaribai Mangilal, Pushpalatabai Babulal Kusmakar and 3 men; Babulal Kusumakar, Ramawtar Jagnnath, Chandrashekhar Jagdish Chouhan. Amongst these 5 vendor members, 4 organisers including president of Sewa MP were arrested by police.

As General Secretary of Sewa MP Shikha Joshi and Santosh Malviya heard the arrestment of members by police, General Secretary immediately reached there tried a lot to enter into police station for talking with police and Municipal Officers but could not enter. They tried to free to these arrested people and our members but police did not it. She talked with CSP (Amrender Singh) about this matter and he refused and said police
didn't beat to anybody, don't make drama and stop to misguide people here otherwise I will also arrest to you, vacant this place immediately otherwise we will beat them and after that some policemen and persons from removal gang, IMC, started to disperse them from police station by hammer lathi on road. After getting information about 100 members of Sewa MP gathered in front of the police station and demanded to release our innocent members. We also tried to talk with IMC Commissioner, Mayor and District Collector but they didn't give any response on this issue. After that, she tried to talk with higher authorities of police such as SP, etc. but they were also not responded on this issue. She also talked with IG of Indore Range on mobile, he replied this is not our subject and you should talk with Municipal Corporation.

Police charged in different sections on arrested and appeared in the court at 5.15 pm (the court time is upto 5.30 pm) so the bail could not be take place on time and Judge has ordered for jail warrant.

The next day, police recalled the case diary from court and took objection on bail against these people but we got success to bail of these members and they came out 6 pm after 24 hours from jail.

The next day, Sewa MP tried to organise a Press Conference at press club, Indore but could not organised. Then Sewa MP hired a hotel (a press conference was already being held on same day after previous press conference, we hold our press conference) and organised press conference and put the issue of vendors and atrocities against women.

Police didn't get medical check up of these arrested people and after acquitting from police and jail, govt. hospital also did not medical check up of these victims.

After it, next day, Sewa MP organised a Shanti March (silent rally) leaded by Smt. Manorama Joshi (founder of Sewa MP) in Indore from Krishnapura Chhatri to Municipal Corporation with tying black ribbon on arms against police atrocity and illegal removal by Indore Municipal Corporation. About 1500 members of Sewa MP participated in this rally. In this rally, not only our vendor members of Indore but also other trade members' participated. A memorandum is given to IMC Add. Commissioner and he admitted his fault and said that they didn't discuss with SEWA MP before removal. The Mayor and IMC commissioner were also in the office but didn't come out from their office to take memorandum.

IMC didn't give good response to us, therefore we organised a press conference and rally in Bhopal, capital of State, to raise the issue of illegal removal, livelihood and violence against women. Sewa MP organised a press conference and during this press conference we showed the video related to atrocities on women.

After press conference, a delegation (lead by Founder of Sewa MP Manorama Joshi, General Secretary of Sewa MP, 12 arrested members) met with Babulal Gaur, Minister for Urban Development Administration, MP Government and cognizant about this incident. A memorandum was given to him about it. Babulal Gaur ordered for IMC Commissioner to talk urgently regarding this matter on same memorandum which we gave to him, and returned to us to handed over the memorandum to Commissioner and told him to talk with me.

Next day, a delegation met with Shri Jagdish Devda, the Home Minister, MP Government and told them about all incident regarding police atrocities, victims told the real picture in front of Home Minister. Video of atrocities on women by police and IMC was also shown to Home Minister regarding police lathi charged and atrocities on the women.

Home minister assured to delegation that he will not leave guilty officers and take action against them. He also advised to meet to Director General of Police (DGP) and said that I instruct to him for necessary action.

The same delegation met with DGP and talked with him, showed the same video and he also assured to inquire about whole incident.

After meeting with Home Minister and DGP, delegation tried to meet with Chief Minister for the state but he was not at home. Delegation met with Personal Secretary of Chief Minister and told him about whole incident. He also assured that he will talk with Chief Minister about this matter.

A big rally was also organised in Bhopal against illegal removal, harassment and violence against women and avoiding rules and regulation of the Policy for Street Vendors. About 500 members of Sewa MP from Indore and Bhopal participated in it. The march and demonstration was continue for 5 hours on the street of state Capital Bhopal and from this march and demonstration, we showed collective strength in front of state government and demanded for justice and fair implementation of state policy in favour of vendors, and also to stop illegal removal of their old markets on the name of the encroachment.

After it, the same delegation met with the member of Madhya Pradesh Women Rights Commission (WRC) and gave her a memorandum. The same video was also shown to member of WRC. She also assured to inquire whole incident.

Impact

After pressurizing from Minister for Urban Development Administration IMC supported and ready to talk with us on the above matter. IMC Commissioner along with General Secretary of Sewa MP went to field and visited for alternative place for vendors. Commissioner showed 4 places and asked to choose one of them. Temporarily, Rajmohalla is chosen for vending. But after construction of Hawkers Zone, vendors will be shifted there. Commissioner ordered to his staff to construct Hawkers Zone in full swing so that IMC can provide stalls/shops in the zone as early as possible. He also assured to allocate the land and stall on lease on the vendors' name.

Indore Municipal Corporation also returned all seized goods of venders on Sunday 21 June. In spite of holiday, Commissioner got opened the Municipal Corporation and returned all goods to vendors.

Mayor called to General Secretary of Sewa MP and asked to come at Mayor's house. General Secretary met with the Mayor and she assured and promised to develop women's market, formation of hawkers' zone with consensus and involving of Sewa MP in whole process.

Chief Minister and Home Minister also ordered for inquiry the whole incident. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, Indore range authorized for inquiry and called to Sewa MP for statement about this whole issue. DIG took statement of Rajamani Swami, President of Sewa MP, Shikha Joshi, General Secretary, Sewa MP, Bhanumati Rimza, founder member and organiser of Sewa MP for more than 4 hours. After inquiry, DIG on the instructions of DGP of Madhya Pradesh, line attached to Malharganj Thana In-charge Rakesh Vyas. Apart from this, Superintendent of Police (SP) and Inspector General of Police (IG) were also transferred and new SP took over the charge.

X X X X X

The state government directed the Municipality Corporation, Nagar Palika and Nagar Panchayat to do the same. The District Collectors were entrusted in the responsibility of monitoring the urban units.

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