RAWALPINDI: Rawalpindi Cantonment Board officials have been harassing pushcart vendors and hawkers and have demanded extortion and bribes.
Mohammad Sher Khan, a fruit seller who hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said his business has been affected nowadays due to the lockdown forcing him to set up a pushcart after borrowing money from his friend.
He revealed that inspectors of the Cantonment Board and police officers have made it difficult for them to make a living despite a slump in business during the past four months due to the lockdown. He said he is only permitted a pushcart after a monthly payment of Rs15,000 to Cantonment officials, while others also take fruits without paying
He said an inspector takes away 5 kilograms mangoes and apricots in the morning and another in the afternoon. Later, a third inspector comes with his staff and takes away money and fruits from him forcibly. In case of refusal, they confiscate all their fruit and place it in their vehicle.
Sher Khan said he pleaded with the Cantonment board officials but was unheard, while the inspector told him that he will only be allowed to have the pushcart in the areas if the payments were made.
He revealed the Cantonment board officials roam the market regularly harassing pushcart vendors and hawkers. A couple of days ago, he said the officials smashed his fruits and abused him. He appealed to the Station Commander to take action and rid them against these corrupt officers.