Reiterating his demand for early announcement of compensation for the Jammu based traders for their losses besides withdrawal of cases against the nationalist youth who were detained during the Amarnath ji Land Row and ex-gratia to those martyred during the period, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh drew the attention of Governor for his personal indulgence in implementing the agreement reached between the parties to end the 61 days long agitation of 2008 which had resulted in massive losses to economy and lives. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
Addressing the media, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh expressed his dismay that the agreement dated 31st August 2008 signed between ‘Sri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti’ (SASS) and the Advisor to then Governor had not been implemented so far attributing it to the failure of both NC-Congress and BJP-PDP coalition governments. He revealed that the contours of the agreement categorically included working out of appropriate packages of financial assistance to compensate losses of the transport sector, trade and industry, horticulture sector, hoteliers and tourist operators. The government had agreed to examine all these demands in an appropriate manner on time bound basis but the successive coalition govts only gave assurances to the Jammu based traders and businessmen who were kept divested of the assessment based financial relief until now, Harsh said. “The agitation had led to colossal economic loss worth thousands of crores. Several traders succumbed to the financial burden and many closed down their ventures to look for other alternatives. It was reported that the valley based traders were compensated towards their losses by the State government while the Jammu traders were blatantly discriminated and left in lurch. Financial compensation accompanied by announcement of government schemes like tax relief, interest waiver on loans, tax holiday, exemptions in SGST etc. could provide some succor to the affected business class but the same was deliberately ignored, lamented Harsh.
Demanding immediate withdrawal of cases against the Jammu youth detained during the row, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh regretted that despite the directives issued by the Governor to the erstwhile State government to implement the 2008 agreement reached with SASS by April 24 this year, no concrete action was taken by the BJP partnered dispensation till the given deadline. “The Amarnath ji land agitation had left 14 dead and hundreds of people injured. Governor on April 5, 2018 had passed the directives to the Div. Commissioner and the IGP (Jammu) at a meeting attended by the representatives of the Samiti to implement the pact and submit a compliance report under which FIRs were to be withdrawn and compensation given to the next of the kin of the deceased. Unfortunately, the govt. turned a blind eye over the directives and remained apathetic towards the issue which needed to be addressed at the earliest”, Harsh divulged. He lambasted the previous BJP-PDP alliance for withdrawing the cases against approximately 10000 stone-palters in Kashmir valley and mulling a rehabilitation policy for the surrendered militants. He said that the unholy combine announced amnesty, opened coffers for the anti-nationals and subversives but remained callous towards the patriotic youth of Jammu who were detained during the Amarnath Land row struggle and still facing trials.
Drawing the attention of the Governor that the famous 2008 agreement was signed during his rule, Mr. Singh urged upon him to once again create history by implementing the pact in right letter and spirit during his rule at present so that the Jammu traders and businessmen were compensated for their immense losses and the victims of the agitation were ensured justice with dignity and honour. “Better late than never. If the promises made in 2008 are fulfilled in 2018, it shall be remembered as a significant initiative by the Governor to end bias against a highly marginalized Jammu region,” Harsh concluded.
Mr. Gagan Pratap Singh Spokesman was also present during the press conference.