JAMMU, Feb 3: Around 10, 000 chemist shops across Jammu region today remained closed, as wholesale and retail dealers of medicines observed complete bandh on 2nd consecutive day against State Government’s anti-trade policies, increasing the problems of patients and their attendants.
Reports from different districts of Jammu province said that some 2500 chemists across Jammu district, 2500 in Kathua, 1500 in Samba, 800 in Udhampur, 600 in Kishtwar, 700 in Reasi, among other districts pulled down their shutters on 2nd consecutive day today, responding to a call for 72-hour bandh by the J&K Chemists and Druggists Association (JKCDA), which is opposing the allotment of chemists shops in Government hospitals of the State to a outside firm.
At Jammu, about 100-120 chemists this morning assembled in front of the main gate of Government Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh Hospital and a held a protest demonstration for about one hour against the anti-trade policy of the State Government. Later, they also took out a procession through the main bazaars of Jammu City raising slogans against the Government. In the evening, a delegation of JKCDA led by its president, Rohit Sharma, called on Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal and submitted a memorandum of their demands. According to the association president, the Divisional Commissioner has given them assurance to take up their issue with the higher authorities for proper redressal.
All the retail and wholesale medical shops of Kathua, Hiranagar, Basholi and Mahanpur also remained closed on the call of JKCDA. A peaceful protest demonstration was also held at Kathua by all the trade members against the policies of Government, which they alleged is bent upon to kill the retail and wholesale trade of medicines, affecting thousands of families in the State.
At Samba, chemists and druggists led by Neelam Singh Sambyal, general secretary of the district unit of the JKCDA, staged protest at main chowk of Samba against Government’s decision of allotting medical shops in Government hospitals to an outsider company.
A complete bandh was also observed by the chemists of Kishtwar district, as all the medical shops remained closed in Kishtwar, Padder, Marwah, Chatroo, Nagseni, Thakrai and other blocks of Kishtwar. In the evening, a meeting of chemists and druggists was held at Kishtwar under the chairmanship of Ghulam Hussain Mir, president, JKCDA Kishtwar unit, wherein all the participants resolved that they will never allow the outsiders to sell their spurious drugs in the State.
All medical shops in Reasi and Udhampur districts also remained closed.
Due to the bandh of chemists, the patients have to suffer badly. The patients and attendants were seen wandering for purchasing medicines. However, the fair price medical shops in Jammu act as rescuers, where a huge rush of patients and attendants was witnessed. Besides, some medicine shops were seen opened in rural areas of the district, which acted as a big relief for the people.