Jammu shuts down against FDI in retail, hike in diesel prices

TILAK MEHRA. Dated: 9/20/2012 11:39:15 PM

JAMMU, Sep 20: Normal life was thrown out of gear in Jammu due to complete bandh in response to “Bharat Bandh “call given by National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) against the government’s decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India’s retail sector, hike in diesel prices and rationing of subsidized LPG cylinder.
A complete peaceful bandh was observed in Jammu and other districts of the region.
All educational institutions, shops and business establishments remained closed for the day in Jammu city and other districts of Jammu region with most commercial vehicles going off the roads. Thin presence of employees were seen in government offices.
Markets, business establishments, educational institutions and entertainment houses remained closed. The commercial vehicles including buses, taxis and minibuses were off the roads and transport services between Jammu and neighbouring states also remained affected.
However, security measures were in place at all vulnerable areas in the winter capital of the state.
The worst sufferers of this strike call were the Vaishno Devi pilgrims and tourists from other states whose train bookings were scheduled today, as even the services were suspended by the auto rickshaw operators. Besides others were seen moving on foot with their luggage on shoulders on roads linking Bus Stand with Jammu Railway Station. The children and elderly persons had to face tough time.
The attendants of several patients who had to reach hospitals in emergency also faced problems while the office going women were seen covering distances on foot or taking lifts in private vehicles.
At some places, auto-rickshaw operators were charging exorbitant rates.
Some passengers of trains that arrived in Jammu from different parts of the country were stranded at the railway station with no buses and very few auto-rickshaws or taxis plying. Those who managed to get the auto or taxis were overcharged.
Jammu today witnessed a number of protests by various political outfits, who took to the streets to oppose the hike in price of diesel and cap on subsidized cooking gas cylinder by the UPA government. Jammu Regional Committee of Communist Party of India CPI (M), today staged a protest demonstration at Press Club on the call of left parties including CPI (M) to demand roll back of unprecedented hike in the price of diesel, limiting of six cooking gas cylinders, disinvestment of PSUs and FDI in multi brand Retail Sector.
A large number of activists were holding party flags and placards in their hands, raising slogans against the policies of the government. The rally was started from Press Club and after passing through the main Chowk, culminated at City Chowk. While speaking on the occasion, its regional Secretary Sham Prasad Kesar condemned the decision of UPA-II Government to allow FDI up to 51% in retail trade through a cabinet decision. This will pave the way for MNC retailers to enter India and grab the Indian Market, leading to loss of jobs and livelihood for crores of Indians.
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and various other organizations also staged a protest over the issue. The activists claimed the move is likely to further increase the price of essential commodities and compound to the miseries of the common man. "We strongly condemn the hike in the price of diesel and new policy on LPG. We demand its immediate roll back," leaders said on the occasion.
Chamber of Commerce & Industy (CCI) Jammu today thanked the business community and transporters of Jammu region for observing complete and peaceful shut down against the government's decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India's retail sector and the hike in diesel prices and rationing of subsidised LPG cylinders.
Senior Vice President CCI Jammu Sham Lal Langer today expressed gratitude to the traders and transporters for observing complete strike in Jammu. He said that massive response to strike call expresses solidarity of the people to oppose the unfair decision of price hike and interference of FDI in India. He said the Congress-led union government has taken an extremely anti-people decision which should be rolled back immediately. The decision of allowing FDI in retail may give some benefit to customers, but it will eventually hurt lakhs of traders in the state, he added.
The activists of Bharatiya Chetaniya Party (BCP) also held a protest demonstration to express their concern over the issue and slammed the UPA government for the hike in diesel price.
In R S Pura, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) also staged a protest demonstration led by its MLA Sham Choudhary and district president Jasbir Singh against the unprecedented hike in the price of diesel and the limiting of six cooking gas cylinders. Markets, business establishments and educational institutions remained also closed including buses were off the roads. Whereas, a similar protest was also held by CPI (M) of R S Pura unit led by Ravi Mehra and Bansi Lal against the government’s decision to allow FDI in India’s retail sector, the hike in diesel prices and rationing of subsidised LPG cylinder.
Meanwhile, reports of protest were also received from Udhampur, Kathua, Akhnoor, Billawar, Bishnah, Bari Brahamana, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and other parts of Jammu region.



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