Bhubaneswar: In the tragic fallout of the fight between traders and vendors, a street vendor ended his life on Sunday by hanging himself in his house in a slum in the Tankapani region under Badagada police lines here.
The late Ajit Sahni, is a resident of Vaishali district in Bihar. Sahni had moved from Bihar to Odisha with his family in search of a livelihood around 35 years ago.
He is said to have made a living as a roadside vendor selling a variety of textile items like sheets, pillows and sofa covers in the city. Later, Sahni moved his business to the Market Building in the Unit II area.
He had also received the street vendor card issued by the authorities of the Bhubaneswar Municipality Corporation (BMC).
However, local traders pressured BMC authorities to evict vendors located in the market building following a fight between a street vendor and a shopkeeper in the building over the encroachment of the footbridge. in front of the latter’s store.
Sahni was kicked out of the premises by traders. Due to the eviction, the street vendors who have earned their bread and butter selling produce in the region for years have suddenly lost their livelihoods.
Sources said Sahni had recently purchased property worth over Rs 2 lakh by taking out a loan from a private lender. As a result, he went into depression after being expelled from the area.
Previously, the BMC had granted him a loan of Rs 10,000 to compensate for the losses suffered due to the lockdown and closures induced by Covid.
Under the weight of huge debts, Sahni decided to take an extreme step on Sunday morning and hanged himself from a ceiling fan as his wife and other street vendors were in the Market Building area deciding their future course of action.