Price-check drive launched
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 11 2010: With the intention of checking hike in prices of essential food items, several women vendors of Khwairamband Keithel today pulled out goods from shops of Dharmashala to sell them at suitable rate.

Concerned with the escalation in prices of essential food items triggered by shortage of supply due to indefinite economic blockade imposed along the highways in protest against the Government decision to go ahead with the Autonomous District Council elections as well as problem along these highways in the aftermath of the Mao firing incident, the agitated women folk abandoned their daily chores and raided shops.

With an understanding with the shop owners and wholesale traders that appropriate amount of their goods would be repaid after selling the food items at the original rate, the women vendors carried away essential food items such as rice, eatable oil, potato and cereals.

They reportedly launched the campaign from about 11 am today.

However, as the loads were being carried away in rickshaws to the market sheds exclusively run by women folk a police team arrived and prevented them from taking away the food items.

As the women folk insisted on taking away the loads already pulled out from the shops of Dharmashala and Allu Galli, the police team cautioned that in case more grocery items are pulled out punitive action under relevant laws would be initiated.

After the goods were piled up inside the market shed, the women vendors in an even larger number staged a protest rally around Dharmashala and Allu Galli streets during which slogans were shouted against any attempt to distort territorial integrity of manipur, objected NSCN (IM) general secretary Th Muivah's proposed visit to manipur, advised the State Government to stand firm on its decision and to prevent essential food items from being transported beyond Imphal.

Speaking to the media on the sideline of the protest demonstration, a woman vendor namely L Memma asserted that all necessary measures would be initiated to ensure that traders do not take advantage of the prevailing situation and hike prices of essential food items.

Noting that ongoing economic blockade and disruption being caused to goods carriers from passing through Nagaland in the aftermath of the Mao firing incident has resulted in shortage of food items in Imphal markets, she affirmed that transportation of essential commodities beyond Imphal would be prohibited.

The drive took the traders by surprise.