Jammu, January 28
Shops and business establishments in Jammu defied the weekend lockdown and remained open past the district administration’s deadline for the consecutive second week on Friday.
On Friday, businesses remained open the city’s markets in Gandhi Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Trikuta Nagar, Nanak Nagar, Bakshi Nagar, and old city areas well past that time. No police patrols were seen in the area during this time,
The Jammu and Kashmir administration had restricted non-essential movement in the state in an order on January 20 in wake of rising cases of Covid-19 in the UT. The order said all non-essential shops will remain closed from 2 pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday.
On January 21, a day after the administration issued the order, the Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI) Jammu sent around a video message asking shopkeepers to remain open. The messages said the body was “holding talks with higher authorities”.
The order said: “District Magistrates of respective districts of Jamp;K should adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards non-compliance of Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and shall ensure due action against defaulters under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, Epidemic Act and the Indian Penal Code”.
On Friday, Saket Kumar, a hardware shop owner at Last Morh in Jammu, said the lockdown rules were unclear.
“CCI had asked the shops in Jammu to remain open on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, we shut the shops as directed by the Chamber”.
Arun Gupta, president of the CCI, Jammu, said a delegation of traders met the Chief Secretary of Jamp;K recently to urge him to reconsider the weekend lockdown restrictions.
“Like the government, we want Covid-19 positivity rate to come down in Jamp;K. For this, all shopkeepers are following precautionary measures,” he said.
Jammu Deputy Commissioner Anshul Garg did not respond to calls or text messages.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCamp;I), asked the administration to consult with traders, industry, and the business community while taking any such decisions. ic captions: Shops and business establishments in Gandhi Nagar area of Jammu