Though called by Jammu Bar Association, today’s successful shutdown in the winter capital was indeed a people’s Bandh, which sent out several terse messages to so many players. It virtually booted out the BJP from its core constituency and humbled Chamber of Commerce and Industries by restricting its diktat within the precincts of Chamber House. The Jammu Bandh had no solace for extensions of Kashmir centric political masters of the Congress, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party either. They stand exposed for exploiting Jammu and making it their cozy colony.
The propaganda machines of the pseudo-secularists and separatists went euphoric on social media by dubbing the Jammu Bandh as a sort of support to alleged rapists and killers of innocent eight-year girl child in Rassana. This is a mischievous and motivated propaganda. Nowhere can they show any responsible leader of the BAJ or Hindu Ekta Manch having condoned or trivialized the crime committed on a child, who belonged to Gujjar and Bakerwal community. They too have been vouching for exemplary punishment to the guilty. What disturbs them is the fact of attaching conspiracy angle to the rape and murder to, what they claim, weed out the Gujjar community from Rassana and other adjoining areas. Also, the people are peeved over the decision of the government in transferring the case from the concerned police station to Crime Branch at the behest of Gujjars and Bakerwals. They have a grouse that if the demand of the Gujjars could be readily accommodated why not of the majority in the area, which wants CBI probe to bring to fore the facts. The people are also agitated over roping in an investigation officer in the Crime Branch, who is allegedly a dubious character, having controversial credentials. The question arises why should an officer be brought from Kashmir to supplement investigations? Did Jammu lack professional and competent officers?
The motivation attributed to commission of crime is seen as a ploy to halt the unabated encroachments on the State and forest land across the Jammu region. Nobody can deny the fact that Gujjars have mostly been indulging in encroaching the State land. Those defending these encroachments are, in fact, he actual conspirators, who want Jammu demography to be changed. How come the encroachers vacate the encroached lands and move to other vacant spaces after transferring the possession of their previous plots by way of ‘Agreement to sell’ or on affidavits to non-Jammuites, who have constructed over 50, 000 houses in the suburbs of the capital city, according to preliminary estimates? The encroached state lands take pride of being posh areas of the Jammu from Sidhra to Sunjwan, Bathindi included. Jammu had hoped the BJP to issue a white paper after coming to power on how these colonies got all the amenities like drinking water, electricity, roads, utility services, civic facilities, etc. and who were the people responsible for all this. A common Jammuite gets disillusioned and frustrated over the reports about newly come up posh colonies consuming major portion of funds over their upkeep.
The conspiracy angle in Rassana rape and murder case followed the directions by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, in the form of minutes of a meeting of Tribal Affairs Department (TAD), asking IGP Jammu and all the Deputy Commissioners, inter-allia, not to provide any police protection for eviction of tribals without the approval obtained from TAD; till a formal tribal policy is formulated and issued, tribal population shall not be disturbed or dislocated; in case it becomes absolutely necessary to dislocate any member or family of tribal population, the same should be done in prior consultation with the TAD; and, given the misuse of Section 188 RPC and Animal Cruelty Act against the tribals in a situation when animal rearing is their profession and they are required to transport their animals from one place to another, they (officers) should take due care while dealing with such cases.
Can these directions be co-incidental? And why should the State machinery, especially directed by such of the political outfits, which raised hue and cry over allotment of just a few hundred kanals of land to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board for creating temporary facilities for pilgrims to save them from weather vagaries in Baltal or identification of colonies for settling displaced Kashmiri migrants and ex-servicemen in the Valley!
The BAJ and other agitating outfits want the so-called conspiracy angle in the rape and murder of eight years old child to be probed by an independent agency and there is no problem in asking that. If the government concedes this demand, perhaps BAJ will spearhead the legal battle to dispense justice to the innocent girl. An Indian and a Hindu can never approve of such a heinous crime.
Therefore, there is need to understand the genesis of Jammu Bandh, which is a signal of changing political equations in this part of the State, traditionally seen as BJP stronghold. The common man of the capital city ultimately decided to rally around the BAJ that took up their cause. The trade bodies’ defied the diktat of JCCI and actually made the shutdown unprecedentedly successful. The transporters and other segments of society lend enviable support by halting the life in otherwise most vibrant city of northern India. The Jammu Bandh has sent shockwaves in the political arena, especially the BJP, which finds its space fast shrinking in the region.