Onion traders withdraw strike after talks with Delhi CM

New Delhi: In a major relief to commonman, Delhi onion traders on Wednesday withdrew their strike after a meeting with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit during which they were assured of not being "harassed".

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

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

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

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

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

Onion traders in Azadpur mandi, Asia`s largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market had gone on an indefinite strike to protest the Income Tax Department`s raids on them.

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

The Delhi government had yesterday threatened to invoke the Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) against onion traders in Asia`s biggest wholesale vegetable market if necessary.

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