The Telegraph
Sunday , August 31 , 2014
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Traders’ strike over arrest

Dhubri, Aug. 30: Shops in Bilasipara in Dhubri district downed shutters today after two traders’ associations called an indefinite strike in protest against the arrest of a jewellery shop worker.

Surajit Basak, 20, was arrested in connection with an attack on sales tax officials and damaging their vehicles on August 22.

People and traders of Bilasipara allegedly chased a team of 18 sales tax officials from Guwahati on August 22, after they entered some shops and seized sales books. Two of the three officials’ vehicles were damaged in stone-throwing. Police had to rush to the spot to rescue the officials.

Santosh Sethia, an office-bearer of Bilasipara Babsayee Samiti, alleged that despite assurances given by police that no traders would be harassed and they would extend all cooperation in the investigation into the incident, Basak was arrested.

“How can you identify a single person in the mob? We are businessmen and do not want to create trouble. Surajit Basak is innocent and should be released,” he said.

A source said an emergent meeting called by the police and attended by members of the Bilasipara Swarna Silpi Samiti and the Babsayee Samiti failed to hammer out any solution today.

The second round of meetings this evening also failed to arrive at any solution.

Dhubri superintendent of police Mridulananda Sarma, who chaired the meeting, said he had requested the traders to withdraw the strike.

A police source said they had a video clipping of the accused and action would be taken according to law.

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