The police on Tuesday successfully foiled the bid of protesting jewellers’ to ‘gherao’ the residence of Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi’s residence.
The jewellers were marching towards the minister’s residence to hand over a memorandum of their demands but were stopped by the police about 50 metres away from the minister’s residence.
The jewellers have been protesting since March 2 against the Centre’s decision to impose excise duty on non-silver jewellery besides the decision to make PAN card details mandatory for transactions above Rs 2 lakh.
In view of the heavy police presence, the protesters staged their dharna on the road where they were stopped and demanded to meet the minister.
The minister, however, sent some officials to get the memorandum but the agitators kept on demanding that they would only hand over it to the minister.
“We had come with the hope that Joshi would listen to us and take up our issue with the Union government but by not accepting our memorandum, he has disappointed us. Now, we are coming back empty handed,” Ashwani Kumar, president of district Swarankar Sangh said.
“During elections, Joshi visited us seeking help and we extended our support to him and ensure his victory two times. But when got in trouble, he left. He should keep in mind that there are 12,000 votes of the goldsmith community in his constituency and if he does not address our grievances, he will have to face defeat in the next election.”