SRINAGAR: Jammu remained jammed for the entire day on the call for a day-long strike sponsored by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI). All political parties except the BJP supported the call.
Reports reaching from Jammu said a number of rallies were taken out at various places of the region for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370.
In anticipation of the strike, Jammu Chamber had highlighted the reasons for the strike. Arun Gupta, its president, and other office-bearers had addressed a crowded news conference to explain why the trade body is going on a strike to protect the Jammu’s economy. He had flagged the issue of mining rights being given to the players from outside Jammu and Kashmir, restrictions on the operations of the Banquet Halls, and the apparent closure of the durbar move. However, it was the permission for Reliance to open 50 stores in Jammu that was the immediate trigger.
Reports said that all markets across the region wore a deserted look with shops and business establishments remained closed. The public and private traffic were also off the roads. The strike, however, remained peaceful with no untoward incident reported from anywhere.
In a statement issued by the Chamber, Arun Gupta said the overwhelming support to the strike call is testimony to the fact that the stand taken by the apex body of traders is a hundred per cent right and the government should consider the demands henceforth. He categorically said that the motive of the CCI was in no way to oppose the government as far as the abrogation of Article 370 is concerned as some sections in the political circles are trying to promulgate but the only reason behind this resentment is the lopsided policies of the J&K Government towards the business community of the region.
The purpose, he said, was to raise the voice of traders of Jammu province against the government decisions especially end to Darbar Move, treatment with wine shop owners, the abrupt closure of bars, SOP for Banquets, debarring of Mahajans, Khatris, Sikhs and Jains communities from purchasing of agricultural land in J&K, issue of Sand mining, Crushers and brick kiln trade, passenger tax on commercial vehicles, and the move to invite Reliance stores’ chain in the UT will prove out to be detrimental for the trading community.
Meanwhile, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti has alleged that the “BJP government has put Jammu and Kashmir on sale”. She accused BJP government of communalising the atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Jammu and Kashmir has been put on sale by the government for the people from outside. They want us to become so poor that we become totally dependent on other states,” Mehbooba told a news conference on Tuesday. “Jammu was a meeting point for different religions and ethnicities. Secularism was our identity and Jammu was the only place in India where one can see people from every religion, but it is being attacked. If the people of Jammu do not unite with Kashmir, then we will be wiped out.”
Mehbooba said Delhi is using Jammu as a laboratory. “Those in Delhi are using Jammu as a laboratory. Nehru and Vajpayee had a vision for Jammu and Kashmir, but the BJP is bereft of it. BJP’s vision is only to divide and rule, how to make people fight against each other and how to sell our resources to outsiders.”