Kerala tea vendor's unique protest irks the police

Yahiya, a tea vendor from Kollam, Kerala, had set Rs 23000 on fire and shaved off half his head to protest against demonetisation move.Now police is after him for burning currency

Kerala tea vendor

Yahiya, a tea vendor from Kerala, who has been in the news for his unique style of protest against demonetisation is facing arrest threat from the police for burning money. The police say that burning money is illegal.

Yahiya has become the talk of the town after he half shaved his head to protest PM Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move. The 70 year old Yahiya also vowed not to grow his hair back until Modi is voted out of power.

On the day, when the demonetisation announcement came out, Yahiya had Rs. 23000 in cash with him. But he couldn't to exchange the notes even after standing two days at a bank in queue. He even collapsed due to low blood pressure and was taken to hospital. Another blow was that his only account was with a cooperative bank where all transactions were frozen. Literally, his 23000 rupees proved to be useless so that he burned it out.

“Since all transactions at co-operative banks were frozen, I realised I cannot get it deposited anywhere,” he said. The angry and disappointed Yahiya went to a nearby barber shop and shaved off half of his head.

“I vow to grow it back only when Prime Minister Modiji, the man who, in a jiffy, burnt all my hard work and savings into ashes, is voted out of power and this country is saved,” he said.

His distinctive protest attracted attention of national newspapers and he was projected as an icon of the nationwide protest against demonetisation. Now, the pressure has fallen on the police to arrest him for burning currency notes. The special branch officers reached his tea shop to inquire about the incident. However, Yahiya set fire to the question - 'how come burning invalid money is a crime?'