Expressing their dismay over the smuggling of jaggery, the traders did not sell it in the Mandis (government markets) of western UP on Monday.

The Association of Jaggery Traders came out on streets on Monday demanding effective check and control on jaggery mafia which trades without paying mandi shulk (fees levied by the government). This results in a huge loss of revenue to the state government and also badly affects the business of traders who trade through the mandis.

Sanjay Mittal, president of Gur, Khandsari, and Grain Merchant Association in Muzaffarnagar told that the strike was successful across the mandis of western UP where no business of jaggery was carried out on Monday.

The state government has provided a platform to traders and farmers in the form of Mandi where farmers bring their produce and traders purchase them and pay 2.5 percent mandi shulk for trading it further, he added.

However, during the past decade, gur mafia has sprouted up which purchases gur directly from Kolhus and trades them across the states without paying mandi shulk. “This is smuggling of gur because they don’t pay mandi shulk which is a direct loss to the exchequer of state government and also to traders as they sell gur at a cheaper price than registered traders,” said Mittal.

Supporting his claims, Mittal said Muzaffarnagar was once the biggest gur mandi of Asia where 60 to 70 thousand bags of gur used to arrive in the mandi per day which has now been reduced to 6 to 7 thousand bags per day since last decade.

Mittal and his colleagues claimed that they had apprised chief minister Yogi Adityanath and concerned officials regarding the issue but nothing happened which compelled them to take the decision of strike and their movement will continue until the government takes strict action against the gur mafia.