State

Hawkers’ body seeks action for defaming Angela

Shillong, Aug 14: Meghalaya & Greater Shillong Progressive Hawkers and Street Vendors Association along with their invitee member Angela Rangad filed an FIR on Saturday in Laitumkhrah police station against the circulation of mischievous and defamatory video via whatsapp.

In the video, a group of criminals is seen selectively ethnically profiling some of their  members and intimidating them in order to defame one of the invitee members of the association, Angela.

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On Saturday, some videos were circulated via whatsapp wherein it was seen that some hawkers at Laitumkhrah were being harassed by miscreants who made them take out their IDs, and were forced to speak and answer questions while being videographed without their consent.

“The hawkers were visibly scared and were being made to repeat tutored responses in an attempt to malign the image of their organisation Meghalaya and Greater Shillong Progressive Hawkers and street vendors association particularly one of their invitee member Ms Angela Rangad”, Shane Thabah, the secretary of the association said.

It is important to remember that hawking and street vending is covered by Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 legislated by the Union Govt and by the recent admission of the Meghalaya government before the Meghalaya High Court, will also be operational in Meghalaya. Till then status quo order of High Court is operational about the long-standing genuine hawkers and street vendors of Meghalaya.

“Moreover we would like to add that just as recently as  August 8, district administration invited us for a conversation about hawking and street vending in Laitumkhrah area and to plan for a participatory exercise in regulation and organisation of vending activity”, she said.

“These miscreants refused to give their names and even deleted videos of their criminal activity which was recorded by the bystanders. Moreover, near Fire Brigade, these miscreants violently threw away vendors goods.These miscreants are taking law into their own hands violating court directives and creating a sense of insecurity among the hawkers and general citizenry at large”, Thabah said.

The FIR asked the police to use the available CCTV to immediately identify these extortionist criminals and immediately arrest them at the earliest and book them according to relevant sections of the law including criminal defamation, inciting communal tensions, harassment, stalking as per criminal law amendment act.

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