Delhi onion traders to go on strike; prices may spiral

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) In a move which will further fuelprices, onion traders in Asia''s biggest Azadpur mandi heretoday said they will go on an indefinite strike from tomorrowprotesting income tax raids.

"Onion traders are feeling harassed by income tax raidsand have thus decided to go on strike from tomorrow," DelhiAgricultural and Marketing Board Chairman Brahm Yadav toldPTI.

He said auctions will not take place tomorrow,disrupting the entire supply chain to the retail point.

Other mandis in Delhi and NCR region may also join thetraders'' protest, he said.

Onion is selling at Rs 60/kg in the capital. Prices areset to rise tomorrow in case the government does not interveneand the strike is called off, traders said.

Since last week, income tax authorities are carrying outsurveys and raids on traders in different parts of the countryto check hoarding.

The strike call by traders in Azadpur mandi, Asia''sbiggest fruits and vegetable market, follows a similar move inNashik, Maharashtra, where the crisis was averted yesterdayfollowing intervention by the local authorities.

Yadav said while the strike call has been given by oniontraders, other vegetable and fruits wholesellers may join theprotest in the next two-three days in case the government doesnot take corrective action.

They are demanding immediate stop to income tax raidsand surveys while denying any hoarding in the market.

"We are not responsible for shortages because of whichprices are going up. We are neither hoarding norprofiteering," Tomato and Onion Merchants'' Association inAzadpur mandi General Secretary Rajendra Sharma said.

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