By Abdul Hameed, TwoCircles.net,
Mumbai: At one ultimatum from the government at least 100 hawkers in Musafirkhana Market last night pulled down their respective shops by their own hands. Today in the morning at 10:30 am, the time when they used to open their shops, they could be seen sitting on the debris naturally sunk in concern or collecting whatever may be of some use.
‘Last night at 8:00 pm the private contractor came and gave us ultimatum that within one and a half hours shops should be razed as BMC wanted to widen the road. No sooner did the market close at 9:30 pm than the shop keepers, all Muslims, started to demolish their shops and by 2 am 100-150 shops were reduced to earth,’ told Rizwan, owner of a fruit shop in the market, TwoCircles.net.
Musafirkhana market is famous for its clothes shops; however, there are mobile, cutlery and fruit shops too. The Muslim-dominated market sees a huge crowd of people throughout the day especially at late afternoon.
Mahmood, a cloth hawker, in the market told that they were always ready to co-operate with the government whenever needed. ‘One month earlier BMC said that it wanted to widen the road. We said that we are ready to help it complete its plan. Though we had to suffer some damage, we are not concerned as we consider it our duty to co-operate with the government.’