Ujjain : An anti- encroachment drive in Tower Chowk- Shaheed Park market area here took an ugly turn when residents and police clashed on Thursday morning.
The administration had started the anti- encroachment drive to ease the traffic on congested roads during festive season was getting hampered due to encroachment and extended stalls of shopkeepers in the area. The anti- encroachment drive being carried out by the Ujjain Municipal Corporation ( UMC) took an ugly turn after shop keepers entered into a scuffle with the employees of the civic body. The UMC employees had gone there to remove encroachments from roads and pavements, but were chased away by the shopkeepers, who outnumbered them.
While the UMC employees were silent over the issue, officials at Madhav Nagar police station said the Corporation had not lodged any formal complaint against the shopkeepers.
However, sources said two of the UMC employees were injured, and were rushed to the hospital. They added that the situation took an ugly turn when they seized the articles placed on footpaths and the main road by the shopkeepers and started dumping them on a loading vehicle.
They were opposed by the irate shopkeepers and soon the two sides entered into a verbal duel. As the information spread, MLA Mohan adav also reached the spot tried to pacify the mob. A team led by. The drive was carried out to solve the problem of traffic congestion on the road, said an UMC official. He added that the shopkeepers had also encroached upon footpaths and space outside shops in the main market.
They had kept goods, including worship items, decorative items, diyas and various other items along the road.
During the drive, all these items were removed from the roads. He said some of the shopkeepers were issued a warning. The officials seized articles and goods of street vendors. Upset over this the shopkeepers started stone pelting UMC officials and vehicles.
The number of shopkeepers soon swelled and they started beating up the UMC employees, who had to run for their lives. Meanwhile, the police intervened and pacified the shopkeepers, enabling the UMC employees to take away their JCB machines and vehicles.
However, a UMC JCB driver was injured in the clash and was taken to hospital.
Shopkeepers rued the action of the forest department and termed the UMC authorities claim of three notices being given to the residents before initiating demolition as a “ white lie”. Not a single shopkeeper in Freeganj area got a notice or even a warning of the action. ParamanandBarod a florist in the area, whose floor and footboard in front of his shop was uprooted expressed his anger by saying that in the past years the civic department has never cared for the land in front of their shops.
Shopkeeper lodges FIR against UMC staff
A local flower vendor Rahul Makwanalodged an FIR against the UMC staff at Madhav Nagar police station. The agitated mob of shopkeepers of the area reached the Madhav Nagar police station and staged a protest at the police station and demanded action against the UMC encroachment removal gang. CSP Vijay Dawar andCity Magistrate RohanSaxena also tried to calm the protestors.
Later a complaint application was submitted by the shopkeepers over which a case under Section 294, 506 and 323 of the IPC was registered against UMC staff by the Madhav Nagar police.