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Decision on AIIMS by July 20, CC calls off Bandh

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Nirmal Singh STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: The 72-hour long bandh call given by AIIMS Coordination Committee was called off on Thursday after the J&K Government assured to hold talks with the Centre and take a decision on the issue by July 20.
“We have given an assurance to the AIIMS Coordination Committee that we will talk to Centre to obtain appropriate orders by July 20”, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told reporters after a four-and-a-half hour long discussion with the AIIMS committee here on Thursday.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that the agitation by the AIIMS coordination committee has been deferred.
“Principally a consensus has been achieved that Jammu should have an AIIMS and that should be established soon. We have given this assurance to the members of the coordination committee, who are also our people,” he said.
However, official handout issued in the evening made no mention of communication with regard to assurance held out by the Deputy Chief Minister to the agitating coordination committee.
It, inter- allia, dwelt on the achievements made during the first 100 days of the coalition government and stated, “Later, the Deputy Chief Minister along with Speaker Legislative Assembly, Minister for Forest, Social Welfare, Environment & Ecology, Legislators and other senior leaders of BJP and senior officers of civil and police administration also visited the Dharna site and informed them that their demand has already be taken up with the Centre for early resolution.
Subsequently the Coordination Committee decided to end the Dharna”.
Abhinav Sharma, President, J&K High Court Bar Association, Jammu said, “The Deputy Chief Minister and other ministers gave us in writing that before July 20, they will bring appropriate orders from Government of India for the establishment of AIIMS”.
“On the written assurance, we have decided to defer the 72-hours long bandh call,” he told media.
On reports of few members of the committee expressing reservations about the talks, Sharma said the members may have differing views in their personal capacity.
Talking to reporters, former Jammu Bar Association President, B S Salathia said, “We had differences over calling off the bandh. They have actually succumbed before the government.”
The AIIMS committee had on June 16 announced three-day Jammu bandh from June 19 to intensify the agitation demanding setting up of the premier medical institute in Jammu, which has reportedly been shifted to Kashmir Valley.
Chanting pro-AIIMS and anti-government slogans, the members were sitting on hunger strike for the past one week.
The AIIMS coordination committee, an amalgam of more than 70 social, religious, political, business and civil society groups including J&K High Court Bar Association, Jammu, which is spearheading the campaign.
The group also has the backing of several political parties, including Congress and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP)
Expressing its annoyance over the decision, the Congress said that the decision to revoke three-day Bandh call has been taken by the AIIMS CC. However, Congress party shall continue to struggle for the rights of the people.
“We supported the Bandh call given by AIIMS CC and our support will continue with them in future too,” said PCC’s Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, “Our party will continue its struggle for raising the people’s issues.
Meanwhile, an official spokesman said that Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Singh had convened a meeting with the members of AIIMS Coordination Committee Jammu.
After discussion with Deputy Chief Minister, AIIMS Coordination Committee agreed to defer the three day Bandh call given by them.
Minister for Forest Environment & Ecology, Social Welfare Bali Bhagat, MLA Jammu West Sat Sharma, MLA Jammu East Rajesh Gupta, MLA Nowshera Ravinder Raina, Senior BJP Leaders Sunil Sethi and Farooq Khan besides Divisional Commissioner Jammu Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Deputy Commissioner Jammu Simrandeep Singh, DIG, Traffic Shakoor A. Wani, Chairman Coordination Committee Abhinav Sharma who is also President of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association Jammu, members of Coordination Committee and representatives of Chamber of Commerce were also present in the meeting.
The AIIMS Coordination Committee had given a call for Jammu Bandh for three days from June 19 to June 21demanding establishment of AIIMS in Jammu.
The Deputy Chief Minister impressed upon the members of coordination committee to defer the decision of three days strike as the government has already taken up the issue with the Centre.
He also mentioned the achievements made by the coalition government in 100 days including projects which have been taken up in the Jammu province. He further mentioned various development works which have been proposed for the province which include, Multi Storey Parking at Panjtirthi, parking and shopping complex at Parade Ground, development of Patnitop and adjoining areas as independent tourist destination and development of water sports at Ranjit Sagar Dam.
On the occasion, Speaker Kavinder Gupta impressed upon the Coordination Committee members to defer the proposed Bandh keeping in view the upcoming Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra and to avoid any inconvenience to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims.
Speaking on the occasion, Bali Bhagat asked the Coordination Committee to defer the strike as the matter is under discussion with the Centre. He further asked the committee members to give more time for the said task.

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