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Market chaos as hawkers clash

Two groups of footpath vendors on Tuesday clashed at the Sakchi market over an alleged incident of snatching.

Being a Tuesday, all permanent shops were closed on the stretch for the Mangala Market where footpath vendors do brisk business. People of various income groups throng the market to buy clothes and other products.

Trouble started around 12.30pm when a vendor identified as Alamgir and his supporters beat-up members of another group alleging that they had snatched Rs 2 lakh from Alamgir. The fight continued for about 10 minutes after which members of both groups fled from the spot.

However, the violent altercation resulted in chaos at the market, which at that point of time was teeming with people. On being informed, Sakchi police led by the officer-in-charge Bijay Kumar reached the spot around 1pm. Following the intervention of Kumar, members of both groups apologised to the police for the clash.

Kumar said a case has been lodged in this connection on the basis of a statement given by Alamgir. “We are probing the incident as we have come to know that some anti-social elements who take marijuana visit the market on Tuesdays. It seems to be their handiwork,” said Kumar, adding that he has asked his subordinates to ensure that such incidents were never repeated.

“Today’s incident took place at the Shalini market in Sakchi. Anti-social elements who are addicted to marijuana often frequent that market on Tuesdays. We have decided to deploy more police constables at the market on Tuesday to avoid any untoward incident,” said Kumar.

He went on to add that Alamgir who had first claimed that Rs 2 lakh was snatched from him later withdraw this statement.

Sources revealed that two persons sustained minor injuries in the clash.

They were taken to a local private nursing home from where they were released after first aid.

Meanwhile, Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry condemned the incident.

“Of late miscreants have been taking refuge in different pockets of the market and indulge in unlawful acts like taking marijuana and gambling. It is high time that district police initiate steps to stop such illegal practises in the interest of the traders,” said Suresh Sonthalia, a senior functionary of SCCI.