Dozens of Cong leaders, activists detained during protest over fuel price hike, property tax

Congress leaders and workers being stopped by police during protest march towards Raj Bhawan in Jammu. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Congress leaders and workers being stopped by police during protest march towards Raj Bhawan in Jammu. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Feb 22: Dozens of Congress leaders and activists were arrested during massive prortest demonstration in Kachi Chawni area near BJP office in Old Jammu City here today.
Amidst growing apprehensions over imposition of Property Tax in J&K and continuously increasing petrol, diesel and gas prices, the Congress workers led by senior leaders and former Ministers Raman Bhalla and Yogesh Sawhney assembled near BJP office at Kachi Chawni during morning and held strong protest demonstration. They had proposed protest march up to Raj Bhawan at Panjtirthi to show their concern over anti-public decisions of BJP Government at the Centre and J&K UT Administration. They alleged that BJP Govt wasb making a profit by leaving people suffer in distress times.
Click here to watch video
The protest was organised by Jammu District Congress Committee (Urban), Chandra Shekhar Sharma and Atul Sharma both general secretaries DCC while other senior leaders including PCC chief spokesman Ravinder Sharma and general secretary Manmohan Singh also accompanied. They were carrying placards denouncing the unjust imposition of Property Tax and the “unprecedented and unjustified” fuel price hike, the participants chanted slogans against the BJP Government and demanded immediate roll back of the prices.
Later , protesters tried to move towards Lt Governor House but were stopped by heavy deployment of police midway. Meanwhile, former ministers Raman Bhalla and Yogesh Sawhney, Ravinder Sharma, Manmohan Singh, along with Youth Congress president Uday Bhanu Chib, NSUI State president Sunny Parihar, several Corporators and other leaders were arrested and taken into custody by Pacca Danga Police Station during the protest and were later released.
Raman Bhalla while speaking on the ocassion said `on one hand, India is witnessing systematic erosion of jobs, wages, and house hold income, the middle class and those at the margins of our society are struggling hard. These challenges have been compounded by run-away inflation and an unprecedented rise in the price of almost all household items and essential commodities. Sadly, in these distressing times, the Government has chosen to make profit from people’s misery and sufferings.
The fuel prices are at a historic and unsustainable high. In fact, petrol has breached the Rs 100/liter mark in many parts of the country. The surging price of diesel has added to the escalating woes of millions of farmers. What baffles most citizens, is that these prices have been increased despite moderate prices of International crude oil. To put it in context, the crude oil price is nearly half of what it was during the UPA Government’s tenure. Therefore, BJP Government’s act of raising prices is little less than a brazen act of profiteering,” he added.
Yogesh Sawhney Ex-MLA Jammu (East) said he vehemently oppose the implementation of Property Tax policy. Businesses have remained shut for months, jobs have been lost and prices are going through the roof, and now imposition of another tax on the people will be unjust. The decision was taken by the BJP Government and then thrusted upon the UT without any consideration or consultation with any stakeholders.