Shanti, a woman vendor lamented that at least some time should have been given so as to sell off the already procured vegetables and others.
Accusing the Manipur Government of shutting down the Khwairamband Ima Keithels without any caution, the women vendors of the markets vent their anger on Wednesday evening. A scuffle also broke out with the Manipur police.
Maintaining that the order by the Home Department, Government of Manipur was not an impartial one, the women vendors of Keithel Number 1 demanded that the shops selling clothes of Paona Bazar and Thangal Bazar should also be closed.
After a minor scuffle, representatives of the Ima Keithels came out and pacified the irate women vendors. A truce was also brought with the police and no further untoward incidents occurred.
According to Khwairamband Nupi Keithel Sinpham Amadi Shaktam Kanba Lup president Thoudam (O) Shanti, a woman from one of the Ima Keithels was found COVID-19 positive recently. And another four or five women were also found positive from another Ima Keithel.
Since then, only those women vendors who tested negative were allowed to continue their business. Also, only 50 per cent of the total shed capacity was functioning. Customers are also not allowed without face masks, she added.
Shanti further said that a meeting was held between the Imphal West DC, SP and representatives of Ima Keithels on Wednesday at about 11 am. We extended our support in any measures taken up by the government to contain the spread of the virus, she said and added, we also warned that the shops selling clothes and street vendors should also be shut.
On the contrary to what was agreed, an order was issued to shut down the market for 10 days and let other shops operate on rotation, she added.
Shanti also lamented that at least some time should have been given so as to sell off the already procured vegetables and others. The government should know that the women vendors are poverty-stricken, she added.
On Wednesday, as an additional stringent measure to check the spread of the infection in the state, the three Ima Keithel and adjoining Temporary Market were closed for ten days. One in each three shops located in Galis of Thangal Bazar and Paona Bazar are to be opened on rotation, said an order by the Home Department, Government of Manipur.
One in each three shops of wholesale and grocery item shops in Masjid road to be opened on rotation. The same goes for Ngari Gali as well.