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Regional News of Monday, 11 May 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Bolga traders beaten, arrested for protesting relocation to spacious market

Some 26 market women have been arrested by the Bolgatanga Municipal Police Command for failing to abide by the social distancing rule.

The women, who were over a hundred were demonstrating against the assembly’s decision to relocate them from the Bolgatanga new market to the old market.

According to authorities, this decision was taken to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the region as the old market was spacious enough to accommodate traders without breaching the social distancing rule.

But the market women who did not agree with this assessment decided to drive home their point through a demonstration.

Some of them were, however, arrested for not observing social distancing during the exercise.

According to a report by citinewsroom.com, on the orders of the Bolgatanga Municipal Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Richard Anaba Salifu, some of the traders were beaten by officers.

A pregnant woman who was part of the demonstrators said the police assaulted her even though she kept pleading for mercy.

“On my way to the market to buy things I saw these market women demonstrating so I joined them in the process. So one policeman arrested me and started beating me up. I told him I was pregnant, but he won’t listen he was still beating me and brought me to the police station,” she recounted.

Another woman said they were only marching to the MCEs office to appeal to him to allow them stay in the new market as moving to the old market will not protect them from the coronavirus.

“They got up today and asked that we should move to the old market because of social distancing but if we move there to add up to those already there. We would still be prone to the COVID-19.”

“So, we said the assembly should allow us to do our business and observe the preventive measures. We then decided to march to the MCE to appeal to him to come to our aid but were met by police and soldiers who beat us up and arrested some of our members,” she added.

Chief Supt. Richard Anaba Salifu stated that he ordered for the women to be beaten because they were not listening to the instruction from police.

“I told them to disperse with the hope that they will comply and they were not budging and they were still trying to move forward so I ordered my men to whip them and as many, as we could, we arrested them so we processed them for court.”

He added that the women dispersed after whipping began and some of them were arrested.

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