Five Ghaziabad jewellers held for self-immolation threat

Ghaziabad, March 21 (IANS) Five jewellers who attempted to set themselves afire over the union government’s imposition of excise duty were arrested in Ghaziabad on Monday, police said.

Police were deployed in high numbers at the jewellery market at Chopla in Ghaziabad town.

When the five jewellers — who had earlier announced they will set themselves on fire if their demands were not met by the government — reached the site, police immediately nabbed them.

The five were identified as Raj Kishore Gupta, Harvinder Singh Gandhi, Ajay Verma, Vinod Jain and Gaurav Garg.

Meantime, jewellers’ organisation Swarnkar Sangh general secretary Ravi Verma said jewellers throughout the country would not celebrate Holi, and would burn an effigy of the union government on that day.

Talking to IANS from the Chanakyapuri police station in New Delhi, Verma said many other jewellers were taken into custody by Delhi Police despite protesting peacefully outside the house of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The jewellers downed their shutters on March 2, and have been observing a strike since that day after the central government imposed excise duty of 1 percent, which the jewellers say will adversely affect the market.

Verma said they were also protesting over another issue — PAN card being made mandatory for buying jewellery worth over Rs.2 lakh.

The five jewellers were later released after they gave an assurance not to take any such an extreme step, said Superintendent of Police (City) Salman Taj Patil.

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