Authorities in the Indian city of Hyderabad have moved to rid the streets of beggars, citing the “annoyance and awkwardness” that they cause to traffic and public. The city is about to host a summit with a US delegation headed by Ivanka Trump.
“It has come to my notice through the public that many beggars are begging alms in an indecent manner,” City Police Commissioner M. Mahender Reddy said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that children and handicapped persons are often employed “to solicit or receive alms at the main junctions of the road.”
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The beggars are “causing annoyance and awkwardness” as well as “nuisance and embarrassment,” and pose a danger to the safety of “vehicular traffic, as well as pedestrians and public in general,” the statement asserted. While referring to a number of federal and state regulations that prohibit begging, the order will last for two months.
The decision comes into force as the Telangana state capital is preparing for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which will be attended by more than 1,600 entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders from around the globe between November 28 and 30. Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior advisor, will be heading the US delegation. While the police statement mentioned neither the summit, nor Ivanka, numerous media outlets immediately linked the decision to the visit of Donald Trump’s daughter.
On Wednesday, some 400 homeless people were moved from the area and placed in a rehabilitation center that was set up at Chanchalguda Central Jail. Police have insisted that the move is for “their own good,” as the beggars “are going to the rehab center, where they will be taken care of,” Narender Reddy, assistant commissioner of police for the Goshamahal area, told the Indian Express. In total, police are expected to move nearly 6,000 homeless people to the temporary shelters.
The decision has resulted in a mixed response on social media. While many locals praised the move, urging police to find a more permanent solution, others remain skeptical, suggesting that police will “turn a blind eye” to the problem as soon as Ivanka leaves.