Kashmiri dry fruit vendors physically assaulted by municipal staff in Lucknow; videos surface

One of the victims who were subjected to physical assault by municipal corporation staff in Lucknow. [Photo: X/ NasirKhuehami]

Lucknow: Kashmiri vendors in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, faced physical assault and mistreatment at the hands of Municipal Corporation employees. The altercation occurred when the vendors were selling dry fruits on the roadside near the Gomti Nagar bridge in Lucknow.

The vendors, in an attempt to accommodate a VIP movement in the area, began packing up their merchandise.

However, as the vendors were preparing to close shop temporarily, Municipal and Police personnel approached them and allegedly began snatching their packed dry fruit packets. The situation escalated when the vendors tried to resist the confiscation of their belongings.

The vendors said, in one of the video clips viral on social media, that they were physically assaulted, and their dry fruits were scattered, resulting in significant financial losses.

One of the victims expressed his dismay, stating, “We have come from a very far place to earn here. Why are we being targeted for no reason? It is a big loss for us.”

The vendors, who are grappling with unemployment in Kashmir, ventured to Lucknow in pursuit of livelihood opportunities. However, the incident has left them not only physically harmed but also questioning their safety and security in a place where they hoped to sustain their families.

This incident is not an isolated one; similar incidents targeting Kashmiri vendors have been reported in the past. The victims emphasised the challenges they face, particularly in the context of unemployment in Kashmir, and underscored the importance of being able to work without fear of unjust treatment.

Videos circulating on social media captured the disturbing episode, showing Municipal employees physically assaulting the men. In one video, a victim can be seen questioning the motive behind the assault, only to be slapped in response. The vendors were subsequently detained and forced to sit in a Municipal vehicle.

The incident has triggered widespread outrage and calls for justice on social media platforms. People are demanding an investigation into the actions of the Municipal Corporation employees, urging authorities to address the unjust treatment meted out to the Kashmiri vendors.

This raises concerns about the need for inclusive and tolerant environments, especially for those seeking livelihoods away from their home regions.

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