Video- Gujarat police condemned for using force against cloth traders in Surat

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Gujarat Police on Monday used force against the cloth traders in Surat as they protested against the GST prompting business community to announce an indefinite strike starting today.

The video of cops using brutal force to disperse the agitating traders has now gone viral with opposition leaders targetting the ruling BJP for hurting the trader community-the backbone of the state’s economy.

Senior Congress leader, Ahmed Patel, tweeted, “Shocking that police has used brutal force against Surat traders protesting against GST. Govt must reason with them, not suppress them.”

In a separate tweet, Patel asked, “This is shocking! Is this democracy.”

Textile merchants of Gujarat had shut their shops last week as part of a three-day strike against five per cent GST during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Gujarat.

Cloth markets in major Gujarat cities, including Surat, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar and Rajkot, remained shut in protest against five per cent GST on textiles.

“Textile sector was never levied any kind of tax, be it service tax, VAT or Excise, so GST makes no sense. Also, the traders have been given no training about GST and penalty and punishment for non-compliance is harsh and frightening for them,” Gaurang Bhagat, president of Maskati Kapad Mahajan.

He said cloth merchants were not given enough time for GST compliance, and only a few traders have so far registered on GST network.

Traders in Gujarat had support from Mumbai, where nearly 15,000 textile traders at Mulji Jetha market, Swadeshi Bazaar and Mangaldas market kept their shops shut last week.

“The implementation of GST will be a big harassment for the trading community. We ask the government to roll back the GST or extend the time period for its implementation,” Vijay Maru, a textile trader at Kalba Devi in Mumbai, told PTI.

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