Vendors reacted with consternation today over the order by the District Magistrate of East Khasi Hills that bans the open display of knives and daos for sale in Police Bazaar and Jail Road.
Locally made knives, daos, etc are openly sold in parts of town, either to locals or to tourists.
Fearing a loss of livelihood, vendors assured the government that they will follow the order so long as there is no outright ban on selling the items.
The order by the District Magistrate referred to the risk that miscreants might pick up such implements and use them as weapons against shopkeepers, the general public, etc. “Sale of such objects may be done only inside the shops under closed display,” the order adds.
Speaking to vendors today, one woman said that she had been selling the traditionally made knives for the past 18 years without incident and that stopping the sale will hurt her family’s finances.
The knives and daos on sale were made in Mylliem according to local skills and traditions and a ban on their sale would affect the craftsmen and women as well, another vendor stated.
Meanwhile, the Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organisation (HITO) expressed concern about the banning order as well.
Specifically, the requirement that the knives and daos be displayed only in a closed display inside shops could prove to be too restrictive for vendors who make a living selling their wares on the roadside.
HITO requested the District Magistrate to permit vendors to sell knives and daos that are displayed in glass boxes or boxes with wire netting. It also requested that financial help be provided to such vendors to make such boxes.