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Traders' bandh against VAT turns violent in Ahmedabad

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Ahmedabad, Apr 5: Police resorted to mild lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the traders protesting VAT near Agricultlure Produce Market Committee (APMC) yard here today, as they turned violent and torched a city corporation staff vehicle.

However, the indefinite bandh in other parts of the State was peaceful.

The State traders launched the protest from today following a call given by the Gujarat Vepari Hitrakshak Samiti, demanding withdrawal of the new tax system, which they felt will hurt the trade.

Traders in Rajkot decided to launch the protest from tomorrow, coinciding with BJP leader Mr L K Advani's National Security Yatra.

Trouble began in Ahmedabad this afternoon when hundreds of traders, while raising slogans and demanding withdrawal of value added tax (VAT), burnt a vehicle of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) octroi departement staff.

The State government introduced VAT from April one.

Gujarat was among the few States, which opted not to implement VAT last year, but this year the administration decided to go ahead with the new tax system in wake of encouraging results from the States who had implemented it last year.

Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Arjun Modhwadia, in a statement demanded that an Assembly session should be convened at the earlist to discuss all aspects of VAT. He also demanded that the stringent clauses prescribed in the tax regulations should be removed after discussions with trade and commerce leaders.

UNI

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