Manipur government has imposed an immediate ban, from Friday evening, on male vendors selling goods in and around the Ima Keithel Khwairamband bazaar, a marketplace exclusively for women in Imphal.
“Male vendors cannot sell their goods in the surroundings of the historic Ima Keithel mixing up with the women vendors, who have been traditionally selling the goods there for ages”, said MAHUD and Town Planning, Minister Th. Shyamkumar. He further cautioned that legal action would be taken under the Manipur Municipalities Act, 2004 if any male vendor is found selling goods at the Asia’s largest all-women market.
The government imposed the ban a day after the women’s wing of Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) found eight non-local male vendors selling their goods at Khwairamband bazaar without valid documents. JCILPS is a civil body which has been continuously demanding the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state to check the illegal migrant influx in the state.
A drive conducted by the women’s wing on Thursday rounded up non-local male vendors who had allegedly intruded over the exclusive space occupying many streets of Khwairamband without any restriction. The women body felt that the intrusion by male vendors has increased and that it has become a serious threat to the identity of Ima Keithel.