JAMMU: The ‘Bharat Bandh’ call drew mixed response in Jammu region as business establishments remained open in various parts of Jammu district, amid tightened security measures in sensitive areas to maintain law and order, but commercial transport services remained off the roads.
To facilitate public movement, especially of patients who had to visit hospitals, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had pressed into service additional fleets of SRTC buses in Jammu district so that people did not face any problems with transport.
Various Sikh bodies, political outfits such as the Shiv Sena, and organisations including the All Jammu and Kashmir Transport Welfare Association on Tuesday took out several rallies and held protest demonstrations as part of the “Bharat Bandh” agitation.
At 10.30am, a large number of leaders and activists of the All Jammu and Kashmir Transport Welfare Association led by its Chairman, Sardar Tirlochan Singh Wazir, staged a protest at Bikram Chowk here to show their resentment against the central government’s three new farm laws.
A large contingent of police, including CISF women personnel, had already been deployed at Bikram Chowk to maintain law and order there. However, the protesters blocked the traffic movement for about half an hour.
Sardar Tirlochan Singh Wazir while speaking to Kashmir Reader said, “We transporters extend full support to the farming community who is still agitating on the streets to seek revocation of the three anti-farmer laws. If needed, we are ready to join the farmers in Delhi to support them till they get justice. We are standing with farmers and want a complete repeal of the three laws. We will not accept any cosmetic change. If farmers’ demands are not met, we are ready to take the agitation to the next level.”
He added, “The farmers fear that the new laws will pave the way for eliminating the Minimum Support Price and also the Mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.”
The J&K Congress led by its senior leader Raman Bhalla, the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (NPP) led by its provincial president Rajesh Balgotra, the Jammu and Kashmir Shiv Sena led by its president, the Congress’s JMC Corporator Gaurav Chopra, Sikh youth and social organisations, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and others also held rallies or held protest demonstrations in various parts of Jammu, including at Shaheedi Chowk, Press Club, Dogra Chowk, Hari Singh Statue, Gardi Garh, and Simbal Camp.