Onion traders withdraw strike after talks with Delhi CM

New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) In a major relief to commonman,Delhi onion traders today withdrew their strike after ameeting with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit during which theywere assured of not being "harassed".

"Prices of onions will come down within next two-threedays, as arrivals have increased in the wholesale market,"Rajinder Chaudhary, Secretary Azadpur Vegetable MarketAssociation told reporters after the meeting.

"The Chief Minister told us that she will look into ourgrievance, specially the harassment meted out by the IncomeTax officials during the raids conducted at our premises,"Chaudhary added.

He said the CM told the traders that she will write tothe Central government so that the traders are not harassed bythe I-T department and following the assurance "we havedecided to withdraw the strike".

Dikshit said, "the traders came to me to announce thatthey have decided that they will withdraw the strike at thisvery moment and said in the next two-three days prices ofonions will come down quite substantially because the cropwhich comes around this time in January will be arriving".

"The only assurance that I have given them is that I willwrite to the local I-T authorities saying that there seems tobe cases of harassment of traders," she said.

Onion traders in Azadpur mandi, Asia''s largest wholesalefruit and vegetable market had gone on an indefinite strike toprotest the Income Tax Department''s raids on them.

The Income Tax department had carried out a survey of thebusiness premises of big onion and vegetable traders,including at Azadpur wholesale market, to detect possiblehoarding and illegal profiteering.

The Delhi government had yesterday threatened to invokethe Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) against oniontraders in Asia''s biggest wholesale vegetable market ifnecessary.

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