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JCCI defers Jammu Bandh call

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Bandh observed in Jammu over beef issueSTATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Hours after much-hyped call for Jammu Bandh on Saturday, Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) on Friday made a quick a U-turn by virtually withdrawing it, citing a communication from Kashmir Civil Society to hold intra-regional dialogue over the current spate of Kashmir unrest.
“In view of the assurance, the Chamber has decided to give time to the nationalists forces in Kashmir who are trying to urge and impress upon the masses for an early intra region dialogue” President (JCCI) Rakesh Gupta said while announcing the deferment of Jammu Bandh on 20th August.
“But at the same time our demands and the questions to the ruling coalition, BJP in particular as well as the law enforcing agencies be answered and implemented without any further delay,” he said.
Earlier, JCCI had called for a day-long ‘Jammu Bandh’ on 20th August in support for restoration of peace in Kashmir Valley and communal harmony in the State.
Appealing people of Jammu region to extend support for the Bandh, the President, JCCI, Rakesh Gupta had said they need to stand up against the evil designs of the anti-national elements and support the nationalist forces for normalcy to be restored in the State.
Gupta alleged that religious places in Kashmir were being used to instigate the people and through public address systems anti-national songs and speeches were broadcasted.
The JCCI said the State Government was paying salary to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore to the government employees who have not attended a single day in the office for the more than  last one month of unrest in Kashmir.
Gupta said in view of the present law and order situation in the Valley, the Civil Secretariat should be shifted to Jammu for the normal functioning of the government.
The JCCI said the businesses in Jammu have suffered a loss to the tune of over Rs 1,000 crore due to the ongoing unrest in the Valley.
“We urge the Finance Minister to extend the date for filing of VAT Returns and Vat Taxes for the first quarter for atleast three more months,” Gupta said.
“Chamber shall also call upon the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 21st August and convey to him the ground situation in the State where the economy has been shattered and business and industry are on the verge of collapse,” Gupta said.
Refuting the claims made by the concerned authorities that the Amarnath Yatra was concluded incident free, the Chamber expressed its anguish that the Amarnath Yatra was targeted on religious basis and also the blast at Poonch to target the Budha Amarnath Yatra.
Replying to a question, Gupta ruled out any economic blockade of Kashmir Valley. “We are not against each other. We have to co-exist in a peaceful atmosphere,” he said, appealing the law enforcing agencies to initiate action against those who were spreading rumours to provoke people.
CCI office bearers present in the press conference included Sham Lal Langer, Senior Vice President, Deepak Aggarwal, Junior Vice President, Arun Gupta, Secretary General and Ashu Gupta, Treasurer.

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