Pardeep Singh Bali
Hours after announcing ‘Jammu bandh’ in the wake of Kashmir unrest, Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) deferred their plan, citing invitation for ‘intra-region dialogue’ from civil society in Kashmir.
In an official communication, JCCI says “In continuation to the Bandh Call given today it is hereby informed that the President Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rakesh Gupta and his team have received communication from prominent members of Kashmir Civil Society to give at least a week time to convince the stakeholders in Kashmir for intra region dialogue.”
It further stated, “In view of this assurance, the Chamber feels that reasonable time be given to the nationalists forces in Kashmir who are trying to urge and impress upon the masses there for an early intra region dialogue. Hence, the call for Jammu bandh on August 20 is here by deferred till further information”.
Earlier, in the day, the Chamber President-Rakesh Gupta, while addressing media men here at Chamber House Jammu had said that the Bandh Call was given for peace, communal brotherhood in state and ‘against the anti-national elements, who are trying to push the state on the pathway of violence and sabotaging the dialogue process’.
Elaborating on “intra-regional dialogue” Gupta said, “As they (Civil Society of Valley) are raising ‘Azadi slogans’, we the people of Jammu and Ladakh could not understand their viewpoint as what kind of freedom they want. So, we invited them for dialogue to either convince people of Jammu with their opinion or get convinced with our viewpoint. They cannot take anything to conclusion unilaterally”.
“The Bandh would be for peace, communal brotherhood in state and against the anti-national elements who are trying to push the state on the pathway of violence. Bandh would be in solidarity with the army, JKP and other paramilitary forces deployed in the valley to maintain law and order”, he added.
Gupta raised question mark on the ‘functioning of PDP-BJP Government in the backdrop of worsening law and order’.
“We have also sought to know from the government what was the need to pay salaries to the tune of Rs. 3000 Crore per month to those employees who are on unauthorized leave for the last over 40 days”, Gupta said, adding, “Around Rs 2000 Cr has been paid to the employees of Kashmir only”.
He said the traders have till date suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1000 Crore due to the Kashmir turmoil adding due to the prevailing situation, the backbone of the state economy- the tourism has been badly affected .