Chamber asks police to ‘act against culprits’ or face PIL in court
Srinagar: A prominent body of Jammu industrialists and businessmen called for a strike on August 20 in Jammu region against “anti-nationals and traitors” and “in support of peace and communal harmony”.
August 20 was the deadline set by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry for an intra-region dialogue to “end the present crisis in Kashmir”.
Its Kashmir counterpart, the Kashmir Chamber of Commere and Industry had slammed the deadline on Thursday.
While calling the strike, the JCCI said there has “been no response from anyone on the intra-region dialogue”.
“JCCI president Rakesh Gupta appealed to all traders, industrialists, transporters, hoteliers and public in general in all districts in Jammu province to support the bandh in a peacefull manner as it is the time we need to stand up against the evil designs of the anti-nationals and support the nationalist forces so that normalcy could be restored in the state of at the earliest,” a statement issued by the JCCI said.
The Chamber has also asked educational institutions to keep their institutions closed.
“The Chamber expressed serious concern that the law of the land was being made a mockery off everyday and Social Media, Print and Electronic Media was being misused to misguide and provoke religious sentiments against the Indian state. The Chamber also questions that how the religious places were being permitted to make announcements other than religious activity and rather being used to make announcements to wage war against the Indian state (sic),” the statement added.
The Chamber “questioned the silence” of law enforcing agencies and demanded “immediate actions against the culprits, failing which it will file a PIL in the (high) court.
“The Chamber also questions the government for no action against their employees for their unauthorized absence from duties. The Chamber is seriously concerned that how can the employees be paid salaries without work in a state where the salary bill is more than 3000 crores per month and it’s a common man’s money that is being misused (sic),” the statement said.
The JCCI also asked the government to shift offices to Jammu as “no work has been done for the past 40 days and people cannot reach the secretariat”.
It also asked the chief minister to direct her ministers to set up camp offices in Jammu till the “decision to move darbar to Jammu is done so that the common man could approach and meet them for their grievances.”
“The Chamber expresses their solidarity with the nationalist forces and law enforcing forces and thank them for their sacrifices to protect the Indian state.
The Chamber also strongly condemns the beating of drivers and attack on transport services carrying essentials services, pilgrims and tourists in the Kashmir Valley (sic),” the statement said.
The Chamber asked the state and the government of India “who shall compensate the business losses of the traders, industrialists, transporters and the tourism sector in Jammu province.”
Seeking extension in the date for filing of VAT returns and VAT for the first quarter by three months, the Chamber said it will be meeting India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley on August 21 and “convey to him the ground situation in the state where economy has been shattered and business and industry are on the verge of collapse”.
“Hence there should be no pressure tactics on the business houses for the IDS as we are already paying taxes honestly,” the statement said.
“The Chamber also refutes the claims made by the concerned authorities Amarnath Yatra was concluded incident free. The Chamber expresses its deep anguish that the Amarnath Yatra was targeted on religious basis and also the blast at Poonch to target the Budha Amarnath Yatra,”
Responding to the JCCI’s deadline, KCCI president Mushtaq Ahmad Wani had said that “we are of the firm belief that JCCI would use its good offices to impress upon the government of India to initiate an unconditional dialogue with all stakeholders for amicably working out the final settlement of Kashmir issue”.
“KCCI assures that intra-region dialogue will follow such a dialogue,” Wani had said.
“The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce expects the Jammu Chamber to play a responsible role at this critical juncture and withdraw (the call) for proposed Jammu Bandh on 20th of August in solidarity with the people of Kashmir and condemn the killing, maiming, blinding and atrocities being committed on the unarmed people,” he said.