CBI today arrested an inspector of New Delhi Municipal Council for allegedly taking bribe from a street hawker for not evicting him near Regal cinema in tony Connaught Place market. Inspector Vijay Kumar was allegedly threatening to evict the garment vendor from the market and demanded a bribe of Rs 8,000 from him even as the Delhi Government had directed the civic authorities not to evict any hawker during the festive season. CBI sources said there were allegations that with the festive season approaching, "bribe demands" from Kumar had increased with several hawkers becoming his victims. They said one of the hawkers drew courage to file a complaint against Kumar with CBI. Following the complaint, CBI did a preliminary verification and laid a trap at the location where the inspector was coming to receive the alleged bribe. During the negotiations, the NDMC inspector had reduced the demand to Rs 5,000. "CBI laid a trap and caught the Inspector while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 from the complainant. Searches at the official premises of the accused are being conducted," CBI spokesperson said today. Municipal authorities have been carrying out eviction drives after the Delhi High Court on October 5 ruled that street vendors cannot sell their wares in areas which were identified as non-hawking zones under the earlier schemes on street vending. Congress leader Ajay Maken has been protesting alleged harassment of street vendors and hawkers by the city government, civic bodies and police.
He has demanded the implementation of Street Vendors Act, 2014. Urban Development Minister (additional charge) Satyendra Jain issued an order on October 10 in this regard following a meeting with top officials of PWD and revenue. "No coercive action is to be taken against petty vendors during the festive season. Principal Secretary, Urban Development, to submit a comprehensive note detailing the response to the observations of Lt Governor and factual status regarding the town vending committees vis-a-vis the observations/directions of the HC in the pending cases of street vending," minutes of the meeting said.
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