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JAMMU: Various political, social and trade organisations have extended support to one-day ‘Jammu bandh’ against the setting up of AIIMS in Kashmir instead of Jammu.
The J-K Motor Transport Companies Association, Jammu and Shalamar Traders Association on Thursday extended their support to the Bandh.
“We extend our full support to the one-day Jammu bandh call given by the Jammu Chambers of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) against the shifting of AIIMS sanctioned for Jammu to Srinagar,” said a statement issued by these organisations.
On Wednesday, the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) had called for a bandh in Jammu on Friday. The call was supported by Congress, National Conference (NC), Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP), VHP, Bajrang Dal, J K High Court Bar Association, Jammu Development Council, All Jammu Hotel and Lodges Association, Jammu Praytan Vikas Mandal, Jammu Hotel, Bar and Restaurant Association, Hotel and Restaurant Association Khatikaan Talab, General Bus Stand Traders and Shopkeepers Association, Traders Below Gummat Association, Traders Association Municipal Market, Raghunath Bazaar Businessmen Association, All Jammu and Kashmir Passengers’ Welfare Association, Upper Gummat Traders Association, JK Youth Sharnarthi Action Committee, Gummat Stairs Association and Jammu Province Peoples and student organisations.
“We have announced a Jammu wide Bandh on April 24 against the failure of the government to grant AIIMS to Jammu. We feel discriminated here,” JCCI president Rakesh Gupta told reporters.
Lashing out at the BJP-PDP coalition government for its “discriminatory” attitude, VHP and Bajrang Dal too called for ‘Jammu Bandh’ protesting against the shifting of proposed AIIMS from Jammu to Kashmir Valley.
The VHP has called for a complete bandh in the district on Friday in protest against the shifting of AIIMS campus from Jammu to Srinagar, senior vice president of the organisation’s J&K unit Rajesh Gupta said here on Thursday.
This relocation will deprive the people of Jammu of better health care facilities, he said.
This is the first time that Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal have called for bandh against a BJP government.
“There is discriminatory attitude of the state government towards Jammu in general and settlement of PoJK and West Pak Refugees in particular”, Gupta said.
“VHP and Bajrang Dal jointly appealed to the general public of Jammu to keep all types of business establishments closed for the day and public transport off the roads,” he said.
VHP resented the implementation of new recruitment policy of contractual appointments proposed by the government, Gupta said, adding that it will jeopardise the future of educated unemployed youth aspiring for gazetted and non-gazetted appointments.
He further reiterated that if the genuine demands of the people of Jammu are not fulfilled soon, VHP will chalk future course of action in consultation with all its sister and supporting organisations.
“The decision to call for protest bandh has been taken in the extraordinary apex body meeting of J&K VHP held today at its headquarters in Jammu which was attended by president Leela Karan Sharma, working president Hem Raj Khajuria and patron Ramakant Dubey,” he said.
The President, J and K High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA), Jammu, Abhinav Sharma resolved to give a call for Jammu Bandh on Friday and decided to suspend the work in High Court and Subordinate Courts against the unequal treatment meted out to Jammuites.
He said, “If the decision to set up AIIMS in Kashmir instead of Jammu, is not reversed, Association would be the first to take lead in launching agitation against this decision.”
The members of the Executive committee took strong exception to the decision of establishing AIIMS in Kashmir instead of Jammu despite the fact that even the initial; allocation of funds was announced for AIIMS to be established in Jammu.
Association members appealed to the people to make Jammu Bandh successful and also requested the political parties to support it.
The issue of abduction and beating up of Dr. Paramjit Singh Khera Advocate was also discussed wherein, pursuant to the arrest of eight accused in the case out of 18, and the assurance of Police Authorities, that all the assailants would be arrested shortly, it was decided to further delve upon this issue on Saturday.
The meeting was attended by other office bearers including Vice President Pranav Kohli, General Secretary A.P. Singh, Joint Secretary Depesh Singh Pawar, Cashier Rahul Sharma, YLA President Daljeet Singh Manhas and Vice President YLA Pardeep Majotra.
Many Senior Advocates who spoke on the occasion were A.V. Gupta, V.R Wazir, L.K. Sharma, U.K Jalali, Sunil Sethi, P.N Goja, J.P. Gandhi and Rajesh Thappa.
The state unit of NCP and Kranti Dal too have extended their support to the bandh call. “We extend our complete support to the bandh call given by JCCI against the shifting of AIIMS,” a Kranti Dal spokesman said.
The state unit of Congress too has extended “full support” to the bandh call and urged people to support and make it a grand success.
In a statement, Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesman Ravinder Sharma appealed to the people to observe a complete and peaceful bandh to lodge protest over denial of AIIMS to Jammu region.
“The call for bandh has been given after the Centre and state government failed to respond to peaceful protests by the Congress party, people of different walks and civil society, over a month and a half,” Sharma said.
Former President of the JCCI Y V Sharma accused the BJP leadership of making a “u-turn” on the issue of setting up of AIIMS here.
“The bandh call is the outcome of the u-turn approach of senior BJP leaders on the issue of AIIMS in Jammu,” Sharma claimed.
Meanwhile, intensifying the campaign against the anti-Jammu and anti-youth posturing of the BJP-PDP Coalition Government, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, Harsh Dev Singh on Thursday held interactions with the representatives of Bar Association, Bajrang Dal, Sri Ram Sena, JWAM, JPUF, Transporters Associations besides traders associations and appealed to them to join and lead the movement for justice to Jammu region by lending their whole hearted support for Jammu Bandh announced for April 24.
He said that 24th April is the day when the Secretariat is being shifted to Kashmir with the coalition having refused to honour or even to respond to any of the issues projected and agitated by them during the past some time.
He said that criminal silence maintained by the Coalition Govt. especially by the Jammu based elected representatives on significant issues like surrender of AIIMS meant for Jammu to Kashmir, launching a highly obnoxious recruitment policy, toll plaza at Bantalab besides non incorporation of Jammu based issues in Common Minimum Programme had created a lot of resentment in the region with the heat generated due to Jammu’s persistent deprivation having turned into a furnace.
Accusing the BJP of abandoning the Jammu cause and sacrificing its age old philosophy for the crumbs of power, he cautioned the Saffron Party to arise, awake and assert in view of public anger having reached its crescendo.
Seeking the rollback of new recruitment policy, he sought the withdrawal of J and K Special Recruitment ordinance 2015.
He further sought the abolition of Toll Plaza at Bantalab in view of large scale inconvenience caused to the public and huge amounts being extorted from the vehicles on arbitrary basis. Meanwhile, addressing the media persons at party headquarters, Senior Vice-President Young Panthers, Pushvinder Singh Manhas appealed to youth, students and general public of Jammu Division to come forward and support the Jammu Bandh on 24th April.
He also appealed to the owners of private institutions such as schools, computer centers, coaching institutions, firms and others to come forward and support the cause of Jammuites. Manhas dared BJP leaders to come forward and clear their stand on AIIMS and new recruitment policy. Why they are keeping mum on such sensitive issues, he questioned?
Others present were Sham Gorkha, Atul Sudan, Ravinder Jamwal and Anil Rakwal.
City President, National Conference Student Union (NCSU) of SPMR College of Commerce, Shakti Uppal also supported the Bandh call. Members of All India Anti Terrorist Front, J and K decided to extend support to Jammu Bandh.
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