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Shopkeepers Protest Shut-Out Drive

A commercial area wears a deserted look after the shutdown. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, May 3: Protesting against the directive of the police that no shop should occupy any portion of the footpath for displaying the goods being sold, shopkeepers, particularly kiosk owners, in Khwairamband Market shut down their shops from today.

It is said that the shutdown would continue until the Government and the Imphal Municipal Council arrive at an understanding with the shopkeepers.

Starting from May 2, State police have been launching a drive against shops displaying goods for sale, by way of hanging or placing them occupying portions of the footpath.

According to the protesting shopkeepers, Imphal Municipal Council has given permission that display of goods being sold can be extended by at least one and half feet from the shops and this is how they have been doing business all these years. But the police launched the drive without giving any prior notification and directed them that business transaction should be done within the confines of the shops and no goods should be displayed outside.

Pointing out that most shops do not have attached store rooms, the aggrieved shopkeepers questioned if they are supposed to allow the customers inside their minuscule shops.

In the wake of the police drive, the aggrieved shopkeepers have approached the Chairperson of Imphal Municipal Council who reassured them that shops can extend and occupy space at least upto one and half feet.

So, the aggrieved shopkeepers have decided to continue their shut down until an understanding has been arrived between the Government and the Imphal Municipal Council.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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