LBT strike: Thane traders take to streets against LBT

May 11, 2013, 03:44 IST | Maithili Vaze

As protest against introduction of duty gains momentum, shops continue to down shutters, locking citizens out of options

On day three of the indefinite strike against the implementation of the Local Body Tax (LBT), Thane’s streets witnessed protesters rallying across the city on their bikes.

Angry protesters stand in front of a mall in Thane
‘ROAD RAGE’: Angry protesters stand in front of a mall in Thane asking them to shut down their businesses to oppose implementation of LBT

Thane Small-Scale Industrialists Association (TSSIA) -- a group of 40 traders’ associations -- took to the streets to make sure that all shops, from the small stores to the big malls, pulled their shutters down in support of their demands. Incidentally, after a lukewarm response from mall owners on Thursday, some malls remained open yesterday.

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The agitating traders held an awareness campaign near Big Bazaar at Ghodbunder Road yesterday, which was attended by about 1,500 shopkeepers and traders. But what the TSSIA called an awareness campaign was dubbed as an act of hooliganism by the locals. Eisha Khamkar, a resident, said, “There was absolutely no need for a complete shutdown. We are facing problems due to this.”

The Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) is against the lengthy procedures that traders say will burden them more. Rajiv Bhatiya from the Iron and Steel Association said, “We are here to make the public aware of what LBT is and how it is going to affect the common man.”

However, as the strike gains momentum, people across the city are getting increasingly anxious. “It is high time that traders start thinking about us as we have not been able to buy groceries for the last few days,” Shailaja Natu said.  

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