Nowshera bandh enters 15th day, JAC declares 48-hrs Sunderbani bandh

People protesting in Nowshera on Friday. — Excelsior/Bhat
People protesting in Nowshera on Friday. — Excelsior/Bhat

Excelsior Correspondent

RAJOURI, Mar 2:  Indefinite bandh continued in the township of Nowshera on the 15th   consecutive day today for seeking district status for this sub division while at Sunderbani town, the people held protest demonstration in support of their demand of creation of Additional Deputy Commissioner’s post.
The people under the banner of Joint Action Committee, comprising members from various political parties, Beopar Mandal, Bar Association, Sanatan Dharam Sabha and some other social  and youth organizations took out protest rally in the main market.  They were shouting slogans against BJP-PDP Government, BJP Ministers and also in support of their demand of full fledged district for Nowshera.   They culminated their protest march at the venue of dharna in Tehsil/ SDM office  complex.
Muslim community members after Friday prayers took out protest march on the road at Nowshera against the Government for denying district status to Nowshera. They were raising slogans demanding district  status for Nowshera. Later, they joined the Joint Action Committee at the dharna site.
Several local leaders addressed the gathering at the venue. The work in local Govt offices has been paralysed due to ongoing agitation in Nowshera.  Several other small towns of the area like Jhangar, Qila Darhal, Rajal, Kalsian, Bhawani, Lamberi  etc are also observing bandh.
Nowshera JAC members including  Subhash Kapoor (Beopar Mandal),  Jagdish Sawhney (SD Sabha) Vinod Sharma (social activist), Haq Nawaz Choudhary advocate (Bar Asso), Bharat Bhushan Gupta, Paramjit Singh, Masood Choudhary  said that people of Nowshera  have now resolved to take their agitation to the logical conclusion. They said  Nowshera is demanding district status for the last more than 40  years. It has almost all the district level offices functional here  besides an old Govt  Degree College as well.  Though public is suffering badly due to continuous bandh, yet  they all are now prepared to  face the consequences. They said the people of Nowshera Sub Division have decided to boycott the elections if their demand is not addressed by this Government.
Meanwhile, people at Sunderbani town held protest demonstration  during the day and shouted slogans against BJP-PDP Govt.  The JAC had decided to open the market but hold protest daily in support of their demand. They moved up to the main Chowk at Highway and then returned to Tehsil complex.
Several local leaders  also addressed the gathering  and criticized Police to register FIRs against half a dozen youth. They warned the local administration to withdraw cases registered on pick and choose basis  against these youth while scores of people had blocked the highway.
Sunderbani JAC members led by convener, Ashwani Sharma on the request of Dy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh went to Jammu to hold talks with him today but they returned unsatisfied as no concrete assurance was given by the DyCM to the delegation.  They alleged that even GoM from BJP during visit to Nowshera and Sunderbani failed to resolve the issue and give any concrete assurance.
After this an emergency meeting of the JAC  was held at Sunderbani this evening  where it was decided to hold 48- hour bandh in the town as mark of protest against State Govt and specially,   a weak leadership of BJP in Jammu region.  A candle light procession was also taken out in the town late this evening by the people.