Hawkers to protest at Azad Maidan today
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Hawkers will stage a sit-in at Azad Maidan Thursday morning to demand rights.
With Raj Thackeray warning them to not stage the protest or face "MNS-style" action, police said adequate security arrangements had been made. To protest "terror unleashed by Mumbai Police", Azad Hawker Union had sought permission for a rally on January 14.
"There will be no rally. The hawkers have applied in writing to hold a sit-in at Azad Maidan at 10.30 am. I had a meeting with the union and it expects 3,000-4,000 hawkers to be present," said Ravindra Shisve, DCP (Zone 1).
"There will be adequate bandobast. We will not allow anything on the road that will hamper traffic."
Madan Jaiswal, a 40-year-old hawker operating in Santacruz (East), died during a recent eviction drive ordered by ACP Vasant Dhoble. Hawkers claimed Dhoble assaulted Jaiswal, but medical reports said he died of brain hemorrhage.
Azad Hawkers Union said the protest was not aimed at Dhoble but against delay in implementation of national vendors policy by the state government and the aggressive anti-hawker drive by police in the past few weeks.
"It will be a peaceful protest," said union president Daya Shankar Singh.
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