Lucknow: ‘Harassed, humiliated’ and with nowhere to go, Kashmiri dry fruit distributors stare at a bleak future

Lucknow: The well-known and noisy Samta Mulak crossing and 1090 crossing in Lucknow on Monday wore an eerily abandoned look a day after the Lucknow Municipal Company (LMC) eliminated Kashmiri dry fruit distributors. Positioned close to the Gomti River district, avenue distributors promoting among the finest walnuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, pistachios, dried apricots, figs and saffron in Uttar Pradesh nonetheless stare at a bleak future.

Gali hain hain, mar hain itin however nonetheless hain yar aa hai. Humin doesn’t really feel thirsty even after overlaying a distance of 2000 kilometers. However the place do you go? There isn’t any have to feed the household, there isn’t any job in Kashmir. (We have now been abused, bodily assaulted and but we come again right here. We aren’t actually curious about touring 2000 miles even after being repeatedly crushed, however we’re helpless as now we have a household to feed as there isn’t any job in Kashmir). Al-Zubair, wanting aggravated, mentioned: Click on Information.

Zubair, a local of Kulgam district in Jammu and Kashmir, had been visiting Lucknow originally of winter yearly for the previous 7-8 years to promote dried fruits, however he had by no means confronted such harassment earlier than 2018.

Recalling the nightmare he endured when he was crushed up and detained in police custody this yr in February throughout a “trespass marketing campaign,” he mentioned, “In an analogous incident, Lucknow Municipal Company officers confiscated our items and misbehaved with me within the identify of trespassing. He holds a bachelor’s diploma: “I used to be detained with others on the police station in Gomti Nagar for 3 days. We weren’t served meals for 3 days and had been handled as if we had dedicated a heinous crime.” He holds a level in library and data science however was unable to discover a job within the valley.

On December 17, Lucknow Municipal Company staff eliminated Kashmiri dry fruit distributors who had been mushrooming on the stretch between 1090 and Samta Mulak crossing. They had been subjected to bodily assault and ill-treatment by the hands of municipal staff.

In an try and accommodate the VIP visitors within the space, distributors started packing their merchandise.

Nonetheless, as they had been making ready to quickly shut their retailers, municipal workers and police threatened them and allegedly began stealing packets of packed dry fruits value a number of thousand rupees. The scenario escalated when the distributors tried to withstand the confiscation of their property.

In one of many video clips that unfold on social media, the distributors claimed that they had been bodily assaulted and their dry fruits had been scattered, resulting in vital monetary losses.

One of many victims expressed his dismay, saying, “We have now been coming to Lucknow to promote dry fruits for the final eight years. Have we brought on any harm? Is there any Kashmiri incident concerned? Nothing occurred. The authorities might have politely requested us to maintain the products on the facet.” “And never on the highway. Like every other day, we sat on the facet of the footpath and there was some VIP motion on Sunday and so they requested us to vacate the constructing instantly. Earlier than we might do something, the authorities destroyed our dry fruits and began beating us. They had been very aggressive.” .

Movies of Kashmiri distributors being slapped and crammed into automobiles are going viral on social media. Later, LMC officers clarified that it was an “anti-encroachment” marketing campaign for the VIP motion.

Opposite to the claims of the distributors, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) East, Ashish Srivastava, mentioned the removing was necessitated as a result of VIP motion scheduled between 1090 and 1090 Samta Mulak.

“The LMC with the assistance of the police is finishing up periodic anti-encroachment drives from 1090 to Samta Mulak as that is the VIP highway. On the day of the incident, the Prime Minister was anticipated to make use of the highway, prompting the LMC to clear the realm of ​​encroachments. The youths promoting dry fruits That they had misbehaved with the LMC authorities, resulting in their forcible removing and subsequent detention on the police station.

Nonetheless, not less than seven distributors have reportedly been charged underneath Part 151 of the Code of Prison Process (CrPC) and warned to keep away from the desired interval on account of VIP motion.

“They need Kashmir, not Kashmir.”

Mushtaq Butt, 29, sits silently on the sidewalk together with his household, desperation on his face. The place the place he and his associates had been sitting now was the place the place they used to promote dry fruits.

Abid and Kashif promote dry fruits close to 1090 Sq. On the road, unhappy after the accident. Whereas speaking to Click on Information“They mentioned”Kashmir is needed however Kashmiri isn’t, how can this be a double act?? (Everybody needs Kashmir however they aren’t prepared to just accept Kashmiris; what sort of double requirements is that this?)

“We come from 2,000 kilometers away, sitting on the sidewalk, not blocking roads or homes. The administration doesn’t perceive our ache as a result of now we have households and kids to feed.”

They consider that the federal government ought to present them extra compassion as they journey an amazing distance to offer “glorious high quality” dry fruits at a decrease price than these out there.

One other drawback confronted by Kashmiri dry fruit sellers is that they don’t get rooms on lease in Lucknow. Nonetheless, the Muslim-majority Maulvi Ganj space accommodates them, however after a sequence of incidents in the previous couple of years, even Muslim landlords are retaining tabs on them and retaining all their paperwork, together with Aadhaar card and voter ID playing cards, with them.

Learn additionally: UP: Kashmiri dry fruit vendor ‘attacked’ in Lucknow, dry fruits thrown into river

This isn’t the primary time that the authorities have carried out an “encroachment marketing campaign” between 1090 and Samta Mulak. To recall, in February this yr, the LMC had carried out an analogous anti-encroachment drive towards unlawful avenue distributors in Gomti Nagar and eliminated the distributors. Who’re discovered to be “highway trespassers” in an try and ease visitors and guarantee a hassle-free commute.

Small dry fruit distributors keep right here for 3 to 4 months (November to February). Nonetheless, given the circumstances of the previous couple of years, it appears like they will not make it till February.

mentioned the daddy of one of many victims, Shabir, who was taken into police custody on Sunday Click on Information“We by no means imagined even in our wildest goals that each one this might occur to our youngsters. He was crushed mercilessly for no crime. I used to be not even allowed to satisfy him. We work onerous all yr to develop dry fruits, spend cash and produce them right here after which this occurs to us. Are we Actually residents of this nation?

On Monday, a gaggle of legal professionals bailed all seven Kashmiri dry fruit distributors who had been challenged underneath Part 151 of the Prison Process Code for promoting items on the VIP hall stretch between 1090 and Samta Mulak crossing, mentioned Anas Ahmed, the lawyer who helped them. Click on Information.

“Our authorized workforce appeared into the case and helped within the launch of all of the harmless dry fruit sellers who had come an extended strategy to Lucknow to make a residing,” a lawyer mentioned.

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