THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In what could be another embarrassment for the state government which has been accused of over-policing in the name of Covid control and public outrage at the police atrocities, the Municipality of Attingal, led by the DFL, sparked controversy after its cleaning staff allegedly threw a piece of fish that a fisherwoman had put up for sale by the side of the road. As if that were not enough, the municipal staff took the rest of the fish in their basket in their garbage truck.
Images of the incident went viral on social media, quickly blaming the state government. The middle-aged woman, Alphonsa, was selling fish by sitting by the side of the road in a location below the municipality boundary when municipal staff arrived. Calling the no-sale zone on the trails, staff forcibly took the fish from him and in the ensuing scrum the fish were scattered on the ground.
The staff later picked up the fish and put it in the garbage truck with the rest of the fish in its basket.
During this time, she begged the staff to stoop down as selling fish was her only source of income and livelihood. When she failed to stop the khaki-clad staff from throwing out the fish, she fell and rolled down the road crying for help.
Later, people who gathered at the place took her to the nearby Taluk hospital. The woman, who lodged a police complaint against municipality staff, said she lost thousands of rupees to cleaning staff destroying fish kept for sale. Speaking to the media, she said: âI don’t know of any other jobs. My family of five makes a living selling the fish we source from the nearby market â.
However, city officials dismissed the over-staffing accusations against the fisherwoman, saying they acted on the basis of the residents’ complaint against the sale of fish by the wayside. Fish vendors in the area were told earlier that the sale of fish could only be allowed in the market, authorities said. Attingal police said they received a complaint from the fisherman and that action would be taken after verifying all aspects of the incident.
Earlier, Maryamma, 65, a fish seller from Anchuthengu, alleged that police threw a basket of fish into a pile of garbage, alleging that she had violated Covid guidelines, which sparked sharp resonance criticism from various quarters and the question was even raised in the assembly by members of the opposition.
Municipality cleaning staff took the rest of the fish from the woman’s basket in their garbage truck
She begged the staff to stoop down as selling fish was her only source of income and livelihood.
When she failed to stop the khaki-clad staff from throwing out the fish, she fell and rolled down the road crying for help.
City officials dismiss over-staffing charges against fisherwoman