A 14-year-old boy's cart carrying eggs was allegedly overturned Thursday by the civic officials of Madhya Pradesh's Indore, where the administration has implemented the "left-right" rule for the staggered opening of shops amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The boy, in a viral video, alleged that the officials had warned him in the morning to remove his cart or pay Rs 100 as bribe. When he refused, the officials tipped his cart over, destroying all the eggs, the boy alleged.
He said his daily sale has been down because of the pandemic and the loss of his stock will put additional financial burden on him.
A video, widely shared on social media, shows an overturned cart and broken eggs. The boy, wearing white clothes, is seen gesturing angrily at men, who appear to be civic officials.
Civic officials in Indore allegedly overturned egg cart of a small boy. The officials had warned that the egg cart would be seized if he did not leave the spot @ChouhanShivraj@OfficeOfKNath@INCIndia@INCMP@GargiRawat@RajputAditi@firstname.lastname@example.org/PnuqeLrbJh— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) July 23, 2020
Businesses - big and small - have been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The centre last month allowed opening shops and markets with restrictions, but most of the states have been exercising caution as the number of cases has been rising steadily.
On Thursday, the country reported its highest single-day cases and deaths.
In Indore, the worst-hit city in Madhya Pradesh, shops on left and right side of roads are being allowed to open on alternate days.
Several leaders of the ruling BJP, including senior politician Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat, have demanded that the government cancel the "left-right" system. MLA Mahenda Hordiya has written to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan against the rule. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has shot off a letter to the Indore district magistrate. BJP leader Krishna Murari Moghe said such decisions tarnish the party's image among the masses.
Congress MLA Sanjay Shukla has warned that he would have to hit the streets if the harassment of street vendors is not stopped.
As many as 118 people were tested positive for COVID-19 in Indore on Wednesday, taking the tally of infected individuals to 6,457 in the district.