Mumbai, (The Hindu): The civic body’s drive to evict licensed vegetable vendors in Vile Parle (East) turned tragic on Monday, with Ram Badan Gupta, 66, dying of a heart attack as he ran to save his stall from damage. The BMC conducted two eviction drives in the morning at the Mungibai Road Vegetable Market.
Confirming the incident, his nephew Vinod Gupta, who has a fruit stall in the same market, said , “I’m in the police station and a case in connection with my uncle’s death is being registered.”
Eye-witness Sunil Narayan Kandu, 42, said, “Around 1 p.m., BMC ward officer Devendra Jain landed up for the second time today. The civic workers placed imprints demarcating a 150-metre distance from Vile Parle railway station. Around 5.30 p.m. news spread that a BMC van and a bulldozer were on the way to pull down stalls. I saw Mr. Gupta, who was selling dates, rush with two boxes to a safe spot. He had just returned from his second run, when he collapsed. We rushed him to Babasaheb Gawde Hospital, where doctors said he had died.”
Devendra Jain, K East Ward Officer, said, “There was no action whatsoever by our department today. There was some BMC vehicle movement in the area, and some hawkers reacted to it and started running. The demarcations was done long back. It’s unfortunate that a vendor died. I will conduct a full investigation and submit a report by tomorrow.”
He added, “It may have been the License Department. The encroachments department did not carry out raids today. We were only following the orders of the Bombay High Court."
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