Strike in Rajouri areas enters day nine

Jammu: An ongoing strike to press for an Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) post in the area disrupted normal life in parts of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir for the ninth day on Saturday, officials said.

The strike was continuing in Nowshera, Sunderbani and Kalakote sectors near the Line of Control (LoC) since February 16 despite an appeal by a three-member ministerial team, the officials said.

The team visited the protesters yesterday and assured early redress for their grievances while calling for an end to the ongoing strike, they said.

However, the residents under the banner of Joint Action Committee (JAC) and supported by local BJP MLA Ravinder Raina continued the strike as they vowed not to call off the protest till the government addresses their “genuine demand.”

The government sanctioned the post of ADC for Kotranka Tehsil through an executive order early this month, ignoring the largest sub-divisions Nowshera and Sunderbani, Raina said.

The ministerial team along with some legislators yesterday reached out to the agitating people at Nowshera and Sunderbani and held detailed discussions on their demands, an official spokesman said.

He said the delegation comprised Health minister Bali Bhagat, Public Health Engineering minister Sham Choudhary and Animal and Sheep Husbandry minister Abdul Gani Kohli besides several top BJP leaders including state party president Sat Sharma.

JAC, which comprises members of Beopar Mandal, Bar Association and other social organizations, demanded immediate creation of the post of ADC for sub-division, Nowshera and Sunderbani, he said.

He said the ministerial delegation listened to the people carefully and assured them that the issue would be flagged at the appropriate level.

The Government will examine the issue on priority and address it soon. The matter needs cabinet nod, Bhagat said and assured the people that the demand would be discuss it in the next cabinet meeting.

Urging people to call off the strike, he said, “agitation is a democratic right, but when government intervenes and assures, they must cooperate and believe in the government.”

The delegation also interacted with the JAC members of Sunderbani and advised to build a consensus for a place which is convenient to all the areas.

They were also appealed to shun the path of agitation and government will address the demand shortly, the spokesman said.  (PTI)

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