JAMMU, Feb 4: After observing 3-day complete bandh, most of the chemists across Jammu region this evening pulled up their shutters, as they called off their strike after getting assurance from Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh and Health Minister (HM), Bali Bhagat of independent and impartial enquiry into whole process of allotment of 57 shops in Government Hospitals across Jammu.
Like 1st and 2nd day, the chemist shops across Jammu province remained closed on 3rd day today to oppose the Government’s move of allotting 57 chemist shops in Government Hospitals including Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu and its associated hospitals, to an outside firm. The call of 72-hour bandh was given by J&K Chemists and Druggists Association (JKCDA) on February 1.
Scores of chemists this morning assembled in front of the main gate of Government Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh Hospital in Jammu and a held a protest demonstration raising slogans against the Government for allotting chemists shops in Government hospitals to a single and outside firm, which is playing with the lives of the patients by selling spurious drugs.
Like Jammu, the chemists in other districts of Jammu province also observed complete bandh till late afternoon. Today, chemists of Rajouri district also joined the strike and pulled down their shutters against anti-trade policies of the Government. Chemists of Mendhar town also staged a protest demonstration today at Shaheed Sampark under the leadership of Vinod Dutta.
Meanwhile, a delegation of JKCDA led by its president Rohit Sharma and Rakesh Gupta, president, Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI), Jammu, today met Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh and Health & Medical Education Minister, Bali Bhagat and submitted a memorandum of demands.
In about hour-long meeting with the two ministers which was held at the residence of Dr Nirmal Singh, the delegation apprised them of the prevailing resentment among the local medicine dealers against allotment of 57 shops in Government hospitals to a single and outside firm. Alleging bungling into the whole tendering process, they sought an independent probe into the whole process of allotment of shops.
The JKCA president, Rohit Sharma said that they have called off their strike this evening after a meeting with Dy CM and HM, who ordered an independent probe into the allotment of chemist shops in the Government hospitals to be conducted by a committee headed by Commissioner Secretary, Health, MK Bhandari. He said that the committee will submit its report within 15 days and if the report was found to be partial or biased, the association will further intensify the agitation.