Hundreds of hawkers and shanty-dwellers, who were evicted during a drive carried out in Salt Lake ahead of the ongoing FIFA Under-17 World Cup, staged a protest on Sunday in Sealdah. The protest began hours before the start of the first match at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan, also known as Salt Lake Stadium.
Under the banner of Joint Forum Against Eviction, the hawkers and shanty-dwellers raised slogans against Biddhannagar Municipal Corporation authorities, who had carried out the eviction drive. They had planned to take out a march to Salt Lake Stadium, but police prevented them. About 10,000 hawkers had been evicted from Salt Lake, said a protester.
The agitators threatened to launch a bigger movement if they were not provided proper rehabilitation and compensation. “We will launch a bigger movement after the world cup if the civic authorities do not ressolve the issue,” convener of the Joint Forum Against Eviction and general secretary of the Hawker Sangram Committee Saktiman Ghosh told reporters.
Sources said that Biddhannagar Municipal Corporation Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta agreed to discuss the matter with the hawkers and slum-dwellers after the world cup.