Jammu Bar body holds protests, AAP extends support

Members of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association on Monday held demonstrations against the government and burnt tyres to press for a shutdown in support of their demand for a multi-purpose building complex to house all tribunals, registration offices and commissions here.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also took out a rally in support of the lawyers. The Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Traders’ Federation, and Retailers’ Association also extended their support.

Led by Bar association president MK Bhardwaj, hundreds of lawyers took out a rally from the high court complex and held demonstrations at Janipur against the J&K administration.

They blocked the road and burnt tyres to enforce a shutdown call given by them in support of their long pending demand.

While markets remained shut, vehicles plied normally amid stray incidents of some unruly lawyers enforcing the bandh and smashing windscreens of cars. “All business establishments remained closed and work in all the courts was suspended in the entire Jammu province,” said a Bar spokesperson.

The Transporters’ Association has strongly condemned the ‘criminal conduct’ of the lawyers.

One of its leaders, Vijay Singh, said, “We had already conveyed to the Bar Association that though we support their bandh call, our vehicles will ply on the short and long distance routes. We ran our buses, but this is really unfortunate that the lawyers damaged our vehicles smashing windscreens.”

A woman passenger, who narrowly escaped glass shards at Jammu bus stand, said, “Had the shards hit my face, I would have been injured seriously. I blocked them with my arms.”

Another transporter Ajit Kumar said, “We had told the Bar that we won’t remain off roads on Monday because we were already reeling under severe crisis due to two years of Covid pandemic.”