GUWAHATI, Dec 20 – The street vendors of the city have been the worst affected lot during the ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 in Guwahati.
“Nearly 200 shops were damaged during the protests here, of which 50 were gutted completely. The shops on the GS road were the worst sufferers; 40 shops were affected of which 10 were burnt down completely, five to six shops were partially damaged and others totally damaged,” said Street Vendors’ Association of Assam president Naren Rajbongshi.
Similarly, eight shops at Basistha, 10 shops near Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra at Panjabari, 12 on the RG Baruah Road and 10 shops along the Chandmari-Noonmati stretch were reduced to ashes.”
“How will the vendors now manage bread and butter for their families? The shops are only the source of income for them,” he lamented.
“The anti-CAA protesters were not involved in the violence but some miscreants had done it. Most of the incidents occurred during evening time on December 11.
There are 7,183 street vendors in Guwahati.
The Association had extended its support to the programme ‘Ranahunkar’ organised by Cotton University students on December 6 and kept their shops closed on the day.
Thousands of students belonging to various educational institutes of Guwahati, who were subsequently joined by people from various localities of the city, took to the streets and assembled in front of the Janata Bhawan as part of ‘Dispur Chalo’ rally on December 11. Curfew was also imposed in Guwahati from 6.15 pm on the same day.
“Babul Rajbongshi, Mahendra Rajbongshi, Atul Barman and Mukunda Barman were beaten up in front of Cotton University when their shops were opened on the second day of imposition of curfew. Hundreds of vendors left for their home after the incident and they are not still back in the business,” Rajbongshi said.