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Jammu: Old city shopkeepers call for shutdown against sales

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Jammu: Shopkeepers in old Jammu city today called for a shut down of marketplaces as they held protests against what they claimed were raids conducted by the Sales Tax department without notices.

Led by Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) president Rakesh Gupta and the president of the Shopkeepers Association, Harbans Singh, over 200 shopkeepers closed their shops and business establishments and held a protest against alleged harassment by Sales Tax department.

“Around 70 persons from sales tax office today conducted raid in JJ Market, Kanak Mandi area in Jammu city without giving any prior notice to the shopkeepers. We condemn it,” Singh said.

“This is not the first time that sales tax officers have conducted unexplainable raids without any prior notice. They are resorting to harassment. We will not tolerate this,” he said.

Alleging undue harassment of shopkeepers, Singh, accompanied by all the members of Kanak Mandi, Rajinder Bazar, reached the spot to protest against the raids.

He gave a call for a shut down of Kanak Mandi and all the surrounding bazaars (Kanak Mandi, Ghass Mandi Chowk, Rajinder Bazar, Shahidi Chowk, Residency Road, Raghunath Bazar, Lakhdatta Bazar, Gali Dal Wali, Gali Gujran, Super Bazar, City Chowk, Purani Mandi and other nearby areas).

Police had to intervene to prevent any clash between the Sales Tax officials and the shopkeepers.

Meanwhile, Gupta later hit out at the government for the raids on traders without prior notice.