A 63-YEAR-OLD vendor from Siparia yesterday claimed to be a victim of unequal treatment from municipal police at the Siparia Regional Corporation.
Adrian Gokool said since being released from prison last August, he has been trying to make an honest living by selling vegetables from his garden. Gookool supported his statement with a letter dated August 18, 2017 from the Prison Welfare Department in Port of Spain.
The letter said that during the time he served in prison, Gokool worked in agriculture at the Maximum Security Prison at Golden Grove, under the supervision of various officers. He demonstrated his aptitude for agriculture, indicated his interest in opening and running his own business and should be afforded any assistance to do so.
Gokool claimed that last Friday, while he was vending on the Siparia Main Road, municipal police seized some of his goods, though they later returned them. Gokool said he complained to a municipal police inspector at the corporation but his concerns were not addressed.
Gokool claimed that while his goods were confiscated other vendors nearby were left untouched. Gokool and fellow vendor Bernard Gloud, also from Siparia, said these vendors are from outside the community. Both men said the corporation has banned vending on the main road.
Siparia Regional Corporation chairman Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh said he was not aware of Gokool’s specific matter.
Ramadharsingh said he is aware of people vending along the main road because they did not want to do so in the Palo Seco Market. He explained the councillor for the area said upgrades were done to the market to encourage vendors to sell there rather than on the road.
Ramadharsingh said he did not know if there was any inequality or arbitrary police action involved and any such information could be brought directly to his attention so the matter could be raised at the level of the council.