Police said a case has been registered against the vendors
Shocking scenes played out at India Gate as vendors were dragged and hit with bricks after they clashed with security guards over a ban on selling eatables in the high-security area that has been revamped under the Central Vista project.
According to police, the incident took place yesterday at the children's park next to India Gate. The police note says that India Gate falls in a no-vending zone and the guards had asked the vendors to clear the area. Police said that when a truck of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) was brought in yesterday to take away the vendors' kiosks, they attacked the guards with sticks. Some of the vendors also threw construction materials at the guards, police said, adding that five security guards were injured in the incident. These guards are associated with a private agency and tasked with ensuring security at the area near the monument that is among the capital's major tourist attractions.
In visuals that are now viral, guards are seen dismantling vendors' kiosks and dragging them out of the area as they refuse to go. One vendor is being lifted by the guards as they clear the zone. Another visual shows two guards thrashing a vendor. At one point, one of the guards hits the vendor on the head with a brick. Vendors are seen trying to shield each other from the blows. Tourists visiting the monument look on, shocked by the scenes.
The police note said a case has been registered against the vendors under charges of attempt to commit culpable homicide and assault on a public servant, among others.
Vendors selling snacks, photographers promising memorable shots and adults riding children's bikes with flashy lights were familiar sights at India Gate before work on the Central Vista project began. Ice cream stalls at the monument stayed open late into the night and were a huge hit for Delhi residents out on a drive or a dessert hunt.
Much of this changed after work on the Central Vista project began. The area was heavily barricades and vendors were asked to pack up early. They were eventually removed from the area as work picked up.
Civic body NDMC later said the vendors would be allocated spaces in earmarked zones. The civic body has said the move was aimed at keeping the area clean following the revamp.