Continuing with their protest against the government’s decision to levy excise duty on gold and gold items, the local jewellers took out a scooter rally in Ludhiana on Monday.
A huge gathering of motorcycle-borne jewellers began the rally at Fountain Chowk then moved through the busy junctions of city to return back to College Road.
Daily commuters and pedestrians had a harrowing time as the protesters blocked the traffic for a long time and raised slogans against the ruling SAD-BJP combine.
Ludhiana Jewellers’ Association president Anand Sikri said, “With this rally, we managed to gather massive response as there were more than 1000 motorcycle-borne participants. We would further intensify our strike after a national-level strike call given the apex body, GJF, at Delhi on March 17. We are yet to finalise date for the state-level rally in Ludhiana, which would be attended by nearly 50 thousands members from all across the state.”
“We started the rally at the Fountain Chowk, then moving through Bharatnagar Chowk, Aarti Chowk, Ghumar Mandi and Clock Tower in Chaura Bazaar, we returned to the starting point,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sarjeeven Dheer, patron of Punjab Swarankar Sangh, said, “Complete shutdown of shops has caused huge losses to the jewellers. The government does not seem to be concerned about the interests of jewellers, who were already witnessing a low market scenario for over a year now. If the excise duty continues, business for the jewellers operating at the small and medium scale would be halved in the coming months.”