There is an uneasy equation between hawkers and the police in Vile Parle East, as this picture shows
The constituency of Vile Parle, although divided into two parts, West and East, received a good response from its voters at all polling booths in both parts of the constituency.
However, there was a noticeable difference in the mood in both parts.
The west of Vile Parle saw a large number of voters who were eager to not only cast votes, but also speak about their experience of voting. This was not the case with the east side of the constituency where people seemed to be more reserved.
Observations in both areas suggested that this could be because of varied degrees of interference by the police. Polling booths in the west of the constituency such as the Mithibai college of commerce and the St. Xavier’s high school was witness to a good response from voters as well as a more relaxed disciplinary approach by the cops.
This, however, was not the case on the East side of the constituency. At the polling booth in the Vile Parle Municipal Marathi Shaala, police exercised strict regulations. Hawkers around the polling station were immediately asked by the policeto evacuate the area.
“The police is doing the right thing. Vendors aren’t supposed to carry out business 100 meters from the polling booth on the day of elections. We are happy to cooperate as we are being allowed to resume it after 5pm today”, said Ramdas Gawde, a hawker himself.
Complaints about hawkers occupying areas of prime importance has been major concern in Vile Parle. Student and first-time voter Pooja Rathore said “The hawkers need to vacate the area under the Vile Parle station. The skywalk built for commuters is absolutely useless as there is no space to move because of the hawkers jamming the area.”
Written by Journalism students Prathik John and Kunal Hariani
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