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Shutdown cripples life in Agartala

By Ians English

Agartala, Aug 12: A 12-hour shutdown called by the Congress on Friday to protest against a proposed wealth tax of the Left-ruled Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) crippled life in the Tripura capital.

Shops, businesses, markets, banks and financial institutions were closed and most vehicles went off the roads.

Shutdown cripples life in Agartala

The presence of employees in government and semi-government offices was less than normal.

Police have detained around 45 Congressmen for picketing in different places to enforce the strike, West Tripura district police chief Abhijit Saptarshi told IANS.

The Congress leaders detained by police included state Congress president Birajit Sinha and Congress legislature party chief Gopal Roy.

The police officer said except for one incident of attacking a doctor's vehicle, no untoward incident was reported.

"The strike is total and peaceful. People spontaneously responded to the bandh to protest against the irrational rise of wealth tax by the AMC," state Congress chief Birajit Sinha said.

Tripura's Urban Development Minister Manik Dey termed the strike illegal.

"When the Congress was in the central government, they had proposed to increase the wealth tax in urban areas. If we do not follow the central guidelines, then we will not get financial aid in several urban development schemes," Dey told reporters.

"The proposed wealth tax on the land and house owner would be decided on the basis of self assessment," the minister added.


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