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Street vendors evicted in Assam's Dibrugarh for defying relocation order

Reported by

Emilo Yanthan

Legal Review by

Anmol Gupta

Edited by

Anupa Sagar Kujur

Updated by

Published on

December 14, 2023

December 15, 2023

Edited on

December 14, 2023

State

Assam

Sector

Infrastructure

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2023

Location of Conflict

Dibrugarh

Dibrugarh

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Urban Development (Other than Smart Cities)

Land Conflict Summary

The Dibrugarh Municipal Board (DMB) evicted street vendors who failed to relocate to approved vending zones and were encroaching on the footpaths in Dibrugarh town on August 7, 2023. A week later, a mob of around 200 alleged street vendors attacked the car of Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan and a ward commissioner, leading to the arrest of Dibrugarh Vendors Association‘s (DVA) leader, Madan Shah.

The civic body stated that they had given notice to the street vendors to relocate to the seven vending zones approved by the civic body on RKB Road, AT Road, Khalihamari Road, Graham Bazar-Paltan Bazar Road, and Paltan Bazar-AMCH Road. Furthermore, from the Dibrugarh Police Reserve point to the DTP culvert along Mancotta Road, a food lane known as "Khao Gali", had been set aside explicitly for street vendors.

By August 6, 2023, the last date for shifting, only 30% of the street vendors had moved to the approved area. Others were unwilling to shift saying that the vending zones were in "inconvenient locations", which would lead to a drop in the footfall of customers.

A day later, the DMB chairman, Saikat Patra, Vice President Ujjal Phukon, DMB executive officer Rashika Shyam, and ward commissioners spearheaded the eviction campaign against those who defied the order.

DMB chairman Saikat Patra told The Times of India, “We have already sent them notices asking them to relocate to the designated vending zones. They were given enough time to move. The eviction drive was carried out against those who did not comply with the order. Their carts and stalls have been seized. They will be able to retrieve it from the municipal office on the condition that they shift to the designated vending zones. Our priority is very clear. We want to clear the rampant encroachment on footpaths by the street vendors. It is a part of our initiative to make Dibrugarh a clean and beautiful town.”

On August 19, 2023, a mob of around 200 alleged street vendors attacked the car of Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan while he was leaving after attending a meeting of the DMB. After the MLA left the spot with assistance of the police, the mob physically assaulted Dibyajyoti Hazarika, the ward commissioner of the town's municipal ward number five, who suffered minor injuries. Additionally, they tried to attack DMB Vice-Chairman Ujjal Phukon and Chairman Saikat Patra, but the police thwarted their attempt.

Following the incident, the DMB chairman lodged an FIR against Madan Shah, the head of the Dibrugarh Vendors Association who reportedly led the mob, and others at the Dibrugarh police station. The Dibrugarh police arrested Madan Shah and booked a case under sections 143, 147, 341, 352, 353 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code.

Four months after the incident, DMB chairman Saikat Patra told The Sentinel  that the "vending zones" have not achieved the expected results. "We have created specific "vending zones" for streamlining the street vendors of the town but even after four months it has not achieved the expected results because some of the street vendors again moved to their earlier locations. Many times we have evicted them and seized their vehicles but again they moved to their earlier place. They do not set up their stalls at the vending zone," he said.

On the other hand, the street vendors who moved back to the earlier locations, stated that they moved back due to financial loses.

However, civic body authorities have reiterated their commitment to ensure street vendors stick to designated vending zones amid the challenges posed by the unregulated food stalls on the footpaths.

Fact Sheet

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

What was the action taken by the police?

Arrest

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

1

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Indian Penal Code

Sections 143, 147, 341, 352, 353, and 427

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Details of sources (names of accused, names and numbers of any lawyers, names of any police officers contacted)

Status of Project

Original Project Deadline

Whether the Project has been Delayed

Significance of Land to Land Owners/Users

Commercial

Whether the project was stalled due to land conflict

Source/Reference

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Legal Data

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014
Section 3 [Survey should be carried out by Town Vending committee of all existing street vendors at least once every 5 years. The vendors shall not be evicted until the survey is complete and certificate of vending is issued to all vendors] Section 18 [Municipal corporation may declare a zone as a no-vending zone and relocate street vendors in such manner as is specified in the scheme. No street vendor can be evicted without prior notice of 30 days.]
National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2009
Para 5 [No forceful evictions, minimum 30 days' notice to be provided where relocation is necessary]
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

No

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-consultation with stakeholders

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

On August 19, 2023, Madan Shan, the head of the Dibrugarh Vendors Association, was taken into custody following an attack on Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan's car by over 200 individuals. Dibyajyoti Hazarika, the ward commissioner of the town's municipal ward number five, was also physically attacked by the mob and suffered minor injuries. Additionally, they made an attempt to attack DMB Vice-Chairman Ujjal Phukon and Chairman Saikat Patra, but this was thwarted by police intervention.

Date of Violation

August 18, 2023

Location of Violation

Dibrugarh

Additional Information

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Media-based activism/alternative media

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Dibrugarh Municipal Board, Dibrugarh Police

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Dibrugarh Vendors Association

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

No

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Information on the use of criminal law

What was the action taken by the police?

Arrest

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

1

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Indian Penal Code

Sections 143, 147, 341, 352, 353, and 427

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Resources

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Images

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Video

The Dibrugarh Municipal Board (DMB) evicted street vendors who failed to relocate to approved vending zones and were encroaching on the footpaths in Dibrugarh town on August 7, 2023. A week later, a mob of around 200 alleged street vendors attacked the car of Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan and a ward commissioner, leading to the arrest of Dibrugarh Vendors Association‘s (DVA) leader, Madan Shah.

The civic body stated that they had given notice to the street vendors to relocate to the seven vending zones approved by the civic body on RKB Road, AT Road, Khalihamari Road, Graham Bazar-Paltan Bazar Road, and Paltan Bazar-AMCH Road. Furthermore, from the Dibrugarh Police Reserve point to the DTP culvert along Mancotta Road, a food lane known as "Khao Gali", had been set aside explicitly for street vendors.

By August 6, 2023, the last date for shifting, only 30% of the street vendors had moved to the approved area. Others were unwilling to shift saying that the vending zones were in "inconvenient locations", which would lead to a drop in the footfall of customers.

A day later, the DMB chairman, Saikat Patra, Vice President Ujjal Phukon, DMB executive officer Rashika Shyam, and ward commissioners spearheaded the eviction campaign against those who defied the order.

DMB chairman Saikat Patra told The Times of India, “We have already sent them notices asking them to relocate to the designated vending zones. They were given enough time to move. The eviction drive was carried out against those who did not comply with the order. Their carts and stalls have been seized. They will be able to retrieve it from the municipal office on the condition that they shift to the designated vending zones. Our priority is very clear. We want to clear the rampant encroachment on footpaths by the street vendors. It is a part of our initiative to make Dibrugarh a clean and beautiful town.”

On August 19, 2023, a mob of around 200 alleged street vendors attacked the car of Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan while he was leaving after attending a meeting of the DMB. After the MLA left the spot with assistance of the police, the mob physically assaulted Dibyajyoti Hazarika, the ward commissioner of the town's municipal ward number five, who suffered minor injuries. Additionally, they tried to attack DMB Vice-Chairman Ujjal Phukon and Chairman Saikat Patra, but the police thwarted their attempt.

Following the incident, the DMB chairman lodged an FIR against Madan Shah, the head of the Dibrugarh Vendors Association who reportedly led the mob, and others at the Dibrugarh police station. The Dibrugarh police arrested Madan Shah and booked a case under sections 143, 147, 341, 352, 353 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code.

Four months after the incident, DMB chairman Saikat Patra told The Sentinel  that the "vending zones" have not achieved the expected results. "We have created specific "vending zones" for streamlining the street vendors of the town but even after four months it has not achieved the expected results because some of the street vendors again moved to their earlier locations. Many times we have evicted them and seized their vehicles but again they moved to their earlier place. They do not set up their stalls at the vending zone," he said.

On the other hand, the street vendors who moved back to the earlier locations, stated that they moved back due to financial loses.

However, civic body authorities have reiterated their commitment to ensure street vendors stick to designated vending zones amid the challenges posed by the unregulated food stalls on the footpaths.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014
Section 3 [Survey should be carried out by Town Vending committee of all existing street vendors at least once every 5 years. The vendors shall not be evicted until the survey is complete and certificate of vending is issued to all vendors] Section 18 [Municipal corporation may declare a zone as a no-vending zone and relocate street vendors in such manner as is specified in the scheme. No street vendor can be evicted without prior notice of 30 days.]
National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2009
Para 5 [No forceful evictions, minimum 30 days' notice to be provided where relocation is necessary]
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

No

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-consultation with stakeholders

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

On August 19, 2023, Madan Shan, the head of the Dibrugarh Vendors Association, was taken into custody following an attack on Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan's car by over 200 individuals. Dibyajyoti Hazarika, the ward commissioner of the town's municipal ward number five, was also physically attacked by the mob and suffered minor injuries. Additionally, they made an attempt to attack DMB Vice-Chairman Ujjal Phukon and Chairman Saikat Patra, but this was thwarted by police intervention.

Date of Violation

August 18, 2023

Location of Violation

Dibrugarh

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Media-based activism/alternative media

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Dibrugarh Municipal Board, Dibrugarh Police

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Dibrugarh Vendors Association

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch

Other Land Conflicts in Assam

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