Indian city bans begging ahead of Ivanka Trump's visit

Friday November 10 2017

An Indian beggar

An Indian beggar sits on the side of the road in Hyderabad on November 10, 2017. A city in southern India has banned begging in public places ahead of a three-day summit that Ivanka Trump is due to attend. PHOTO | NOAH SEELAM | AFP 

By AFP
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NEW DELHI

A city in southern India has banned begging in public places ahead of a three-day summit that Ivanka Trump is due to attend, police said Friday.

The daughter of the US president will join India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad later this month.

Hyderabad police commissioner M Mahendar Reddy reportedly issued an order this week that beggars should be taken off the streets because they cause "nuisance, obstruction to free movement (and) danger to vehicular traffic and pedestrians."

On Friday a senior police officer who asked not to be named said the notification was part of the city's "routine anti-begging efforts" and should not be linked to Trump's visit.

He said the city had set up a rehabilitation centre where the beggars could be housed until they are able to "lead normal lives".

Begging will be banned in the city until January 7, with offenders facing jail or a fine.

Activist Madhu Purnima Kishwar said the order amounted to "criminalising" poverty.

"It is cruel as it criminalises poverty," she said.

"Did they expect them (dignitaries) to take a stroll and talk to the beggars on the street?"