The onion crisis scaled new heights when a vegetable vendor was attacked and robbed at the Okhla market on Wednesday night, allegedly by his rivals for selling onions at lower rates.
Last week, Vijay Kumar Ahuja had set up a stall in collaboration with the Delhi government and the local Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) and started selling onions and potatoes at less than the prevalent wholesale rates in the market.
This, he alleges, did not go down well with his rivals as even their customers had begun to flock his stall. Moreover, Ahuja said his stall had been set up in a spot where they used to run an illegal parking.
On Wednesday night, he and his brother Rakesh and their partners Rajesh Bhatia and Ram Prakash Sharma were counting the day’s earnings when his rivals Chand Babu and Akram arrived in an inebriated state, he alleged.
“Akram was carrying a baseball bat in his hand. They began abusing me and told me to remove the stall by Thursday morning or face the consequences. When I asked for the reason, they claimed the stall was affecting their parking business,” Ahuja told HT.
Ahuja alleged that they attacked him and his partners with baseball bat when he tried to reason with him. “They also snatched my gold chain worth over Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 77,000 in cash which was our day’s earning and fled,” said Ahuja, adding that they threatened to kill him if he did not remove the stall.
The Amar Colony police have registered a case of robbery and criminal intimidation against the accused. While Chand Babu has been arrested, efforts were on to nab Akram.