Jumma women small traders quarrel with police over sale of vegetables in Bandarban

Photo: Hill Voice

Hill Voice, 17 July 2020, Bandarban:  There have been widespread altercations between the police and Jumma woman vegetable traders over preventing the sale of vegetables by police in Bandarban town.

On 18 July 2020 Friday morning, Jumma woman small traders got into a heated argument with police when they were prevented from selling vegetables at Bandarban Marma Bazaar.

Jumma woman small traders said that they used to sit at the Marma Bazaar, maintaining physical and social distance, to sell different vegetables like every day. But without prior announcement, the police came and asked them to remove the vegetables. When the farmers and traders did not agree, the police tried to throw away the vegetables and confiscate them.

The woman vegetable traders and the police got involved in a heated argument. Later, the police seized the vegetables of some traders and took them to the police vehicle. Jumma women small traders have complained that the police are not allowing them to sell the vegetables even though they have returned the vegetables to the traders.

Police said they had blocked the sale of vegetables in the market due to government bans and corona infection.

However, Jumma woman small business vendor Mini Prue Marma claimed that the allegations of police were baseless and said that the police were carrying out these activities for ill-motive and unknown reasons. She said there is no official ban on the sale of vegetables.

She further added that the 21-day ban imposed by the district administration expired 4/5 days ago. At present everything including shops in Bandarban Bazar is open. The traders asked the police about this but they could not give any good answer.

Jumma woman vegetable seller Minu Ching Marma said police came in the morning and asked them to leave with the vegetables. If they do not agree, many of their vegetables are kicked out. Later, when the journalists got the news and came to the spot, the police started arguing with the women vegetable sellers.

Nue Marma, another female vegetable seller, said that as per the decision of the administration, they have been selling vegetables in small huts in the Rajar Math of the town for so long. Police broke into the huts yesterday. So they are forced to sell vegetables on the road in Marma market in compliance with the hygiene rules. She added that when they went to sell vegetables on the banks of the Sangu River and on the river char near Marma Bazar, the police also obstructed them.

The subject of Bazar Fund is a department vested in the Hill District Council. According to the Bazar Fund administrator, the market is set in the designated place for farmers and traders to sell at both Bandarban main bazar and Marma bazar. If they can’t sell there, then where will they sell?

In this regard, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Bandarban Sadar Police Station Shahidul Islam told reporters that despite the expiration of the ban on corona infection, no written instruction has been received by the police. So the police are trying to remove the traders.

At that time, he said to the traders, you have waited for 4 months and worked hard for 5/6 days. You will be able to sell in the market again after receiving the official instructions.