Jamshedpur, June 27: Traffic movement came to standstill on the Kalimati Road in Sakchi for more than two hours on Monday morning as a section of shopkeepers put up a blockade to protest the suicidal death of a fellow vendor in the wee hours today.
The deceased, identified as Kanhaiya Prasad Shah (45), was one of those vendors whose unauthorized makeshift shops were at near the ‘Howrah Bridge’ was removed by the Sakchi police last night.
Hit by the incident, about 20 shopkeepers put up the blockade at about 10.30 a.m., protesting the alleged high-handed attitude of Sakchi police, which evicted the make-shift shops near the Howrah Bridge. They were also demanding compensation to the bereaved family.
One of the protestors said that last night a police team from Sakchi police station had evicted and assaulted some of the shopkeepers, along with Kanhaiya. According to him, Kanhaiya has committed suicide due to the police action on the shop-keepers.
The deceased’s wife, Rajkumari Devi (40), said that the police had removed her husband’s snacks shop forcibly last night and during the act of removing the shop the police had also assaulted him.
A mother of three children, the woman said ever since the shop was razed in an anti-encroachment drive by the local administration, her husband had gone into depression.
“We are in state of shock and never knew that fate had such thing in store for us. Despite suffering from depression, he would try to install his shop near Howrah Bridge, but last night the police came there once again and thrashed him before removing the make-shift shop.
In the morning, he was found hanging from the ceiling fan,” said the woman.
In this connection, the police have taken a statement from Rajkumari Devi, while registering an unnatural death (UD) case in the matter. The police later sent the body to the MGM Medical College Hospital mortuary.
The blockade was lifted at about 12.40 p.m. after deputy superintendent of police (city) Animesh Nathani reached t the spot and assured the protestors that they would probe if the police had thrashed the shopkeepers last night.
Nathani said the unauthorized shops are not allowed to do business along Kalimati Road.
The kind of shops which faced the eviction axe included vegetable shops, fruit shops, tea stalls, snacks corners, hair-cutting salons and furniture shops.
According to district officials, they would ensure that the market place is cleared of any type of encroachments including the manner in which the shopkeepers had extended their shops.
An official said the vendors and kiosks were seized from the places from where the administration had received complaints that anti-social elements used to consume liquor sitting there and also indulge in eve-teasing.
“We cannot comprise with the safety of market place. Moreover, people also find it inconvenience to move into the market freely with the passages getting choked due to the make-shift shops,” said he said