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news details
Normal life hit as protests mark peaceful traders' strike in Jammu
9/22/2021 10:47:15 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Sept 22: Normal life was hit across the Jammu region on Wednesday amid a day-long strike call given by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) to protest against the alleged "directionless anti-trade policies" of the administration.
The strike, which evoked widespread support from almost all opposition political parties and social groups, remained peaceful with no untoward incident reported from anywhere, officials said.
The work in courts was affected by the strike, which was also supported by the Jammu chapter of the J&K High Court Bar Association.
The main markets in the city wore a deserted look as shops and business establishments including retail chemist shops were closed, while the movement of public and private transport was thin.
Protests and rallies at various places by traders, activists of National Panthers Party (NPP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Aam Aadmi Party and Dogra Front in the city marked the strike, which was the first of its kind in the Jammu province after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.
Among other things, the sponsors of the strike are agitated over the scrapping of the ''darbar move'' by the government without consulting the stakeholders and new excise policy, rendering wine shopkeepers jobless.
Other issues which triggered the strike included the new Geology and Mining policy, restrictions on banquet halls and proposed opening of the Reliance Retail stores chain even as the company on Tuesday evening clarified that the talk of 100 stores being opened in Jammu is "completely untrue".
"We have not opened any stores in Jammu and the talk of 100 stores being opened is completely untrue," a Reliance Retail spokesperson had said.
"We have a few delivery points in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and these are set up by our delivery partners to support the small traders," it had added.
The business house had claimed that it has a track record of supporting small traders and "we remain steadfast in our commitment of partnering with small merchants".
Leading a rally outside the Chamber House here, JCCI president Arun Gupta, however, described the statement of Reliance Retail as "misleading" and said, "We are all united and will continue our struggle to safeguard the interests of the people of Jammu region."
"This government is deaf and dumb and had miserably failed to fulfil its responsibility to safeguard the interests of the traders. They (Reliance Retail) are claiming that they are not opening the stores but the situation on the ground is different," he said, amid chants of slogans against the opening of Reliance Retail stores and alleged discrimination with Jammu.
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