BY TC News Desk
Agartala, November 21: The traders of Panichaki Bazar in Kailashahar subdivision have decided to shut down their shops indefinitely after the municipal council and the sub-divisional administration conducted an eviction drive on Tuesday to clear the footpaths from illegal encroachment. The shopkeepers alleged that they were not given any prior notice and that their livelihoods were affected by the sudden action.
According to sources, there are 100 shops in Panichaki Bazaar shed and 70 more shops adjacent to it. However, many of the shopkeepers have used their allotted space in the market sheds as warehouses and have occupied the footpaths for selling their goods. Some of the shopkeepers have also used the space next to the market for art. The municipal council and the sub-divisional administration have carried out several eviction drives in the past, but the shopkeepers have resumed their activities on the footpaths.
On Tuesday morning, a joint team of the municipal council and the sub-divisional administration, led by Additional Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Kailashahar Nabakumar Jamatia, launched a fresh eviction drive in Panichaki Bazar. The team was accompanied by a large contingent of police and TSR personnel from Kailashahar police station. The team evicted 130 shops and freed the footpaths from encroachment.
However, the eviction drive sparked a protest by the shopkeepers, who claimed that they were not given any notice and that their businesses were hampered by the action. They decided to close their shops indefinitely and demanded that the authorities provide them with alternative space. They also threatened to intensify their agitation if their demands were not met.
The municipal council, on the other hand, said that the eviction drive was necessary to ensure the smooth movement of pedestrians and vehicles on the footpaths. The council said that the shopkeepers should return to their allocated space in the market sheds and that the remaining shopkeepers would be considered for space allocation. The council also warned that the eviction drive would be repeated if the shopkeepers reoccupied the footpaths. The council appealed to the shopkeepers to cooperate with the administration and maintain peace and order.