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Truckers' body secretary arrested

india Updated: Jan 09, 2009 12:05 IST

PTI
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In a sign of bitter stand-off between the government and striking truckers, the All India Transporters Welfare Association on Friday said its general secretary, Ramesh Gulati, has been arrested in the national capital under the Essential Supplies Maintenance Act.

"Without any prior intimation, the Delhi Police came and arrested Gulati from his Dwarka Residence under ESMA Act," AITWA President Ramesh Agarwal told PTI.

When contacted by PTI, a Delhi Police spokesperson, who neither confirmed nor denied the arrest, said "we are yet to receive the updated information."

AITWA has called a nation-wide indefinite strike since Sunday midnight along with All India Motor Transport Congress, in which over 60 lakh truckers have participated, demanding lower diesel prices, reduction of toll taxes and abolition of service taxes among others.

So far five states -- Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh -- have invoked ESMA and more states are likely to implement the law to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities.
Meanwhile, the transporters entered the fifth day of their strike today following a deadlock between the government and truckers.

The Centre has also advised states to act tough on truckers and invoke Essential Commodities Act and National Security Act and impound trucks, if needed.