Women vendors protest illegal tax by militants

Correspondent IMPHAL, Sep 20 | Publish Date: 9/20/2019 12:12:29 PM IST

Women vendors in Manipur’s Jiribam headquarters on Friday staged a sit-in-protest against alleged collection of tax on their goods by militants along Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-37.

The women vendors alleged that “tax” was being collecting from their goods procured from Imphal and ferried on passenger service vehicles along NH-37 by the armed cadres openly in Nungba area of Noney district.

The armed cadres who stopped the passenger vehicles at Nungba area have been collecting the tax ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 depending on the goods for around one week without any intervention from the concern authorities of the government.

The women vendors staged the protest in front of their market-shed at Jiribam headquarters under the banner of Jiri Ima Keithel Choukhat Thourang Lup, suspending their business of the day.

A leader of the woman vendor taking part in the protest alleged that the cadres would forcibly drag down  goods from the vehicle if the owners refused to the pay demanded.

She drew the attention of the state government to look into the plight of the women vendors doing small time business to run their family with the meagre income they earned from the business.

At the same time, she appealed the outfit to stop collection on humanity ground, saying they were doing the petty business only to able to run their families.

She added that this was not the first time cadres collected money from the women vendors who sold their goods after procuring it from Imphal.

Similar instances of collecting tax by the cadres of armed outfit were reported in the past too, she said and added that in the past, they (cadres of armed outfit) would collect tax/money during festival seasons like Christmas, Ningol Chakouba, etc. 

The collection of the tax greatly affected their business as they were not procuring large quantity of goods but only small quantity which they can afford with their meagre amount.

Women vendors of different communities, mostly from Jiribam and Tamenglong districts opened their stalls at the only district women market-shed took part in the sit-in-protest. 


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