Kashmir business chambers condemn Udhampur truck attack, demand action

Srinagar, Oct 12 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir’s top business chambers on Monday condemned the Udhampur truck attack and vowed to thwart “conspiracies against communal harmony” to safeguard the state’s unique identity.

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) at a joint press conference here condemned the petrol bomb attack on a valley-bound truck at Udhampur in Jammu province and asked government to punish the culprits of the incident.

The two apex business organizations termed the attack as “politically motivated” and said it can have serious ramifications unless curbed with “heavy hand”.

“Such incidents won’t happen again in future. We aren’t God. We have limitations but we will do our level best to not let this happen again. Our actions to such incidents won’t be limited,” said JCCI president Rakesh Gupta.

Noting people of entire state hold high the values of peace, amity and brotherhood, he said: “The increasing polarization in the state today is politically motivated and attack on a Kashmir bound truck by disruptive elements and politically motivated goons is worrisome.”

He said such incidents can lead to trifurcation of the state, which, he said, will be against the collective interests of every region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked why it took JCCI four days to condemn the truck attack, Gupta said: “Mere statements don’t matter. I was in constant touch with state police chief and made him aware of incidents repercussions.”

“I am happy that most of the culprits are behind bars and they have been booked under the Public Safety Act,” he said.

Gupta said the Jammu business community have learnt a lot from 2008, when an economic blockade was enforced by some elements, noting nobody has gained from that and everybody, mostly business community, had to suffer.

He blamed “agencies” for having vested interest in creating trouble in the state.

“There are massive security related secret funds and are used by some inimical elements to foment trouble,” he claimed.

“Not only culprits of the Udhampur truck attack should be made public, but those behind this act should be also exposed,” he added.

KCCI president Mushtaq Ahmad Wani thanked his counterpart for expressing solidarity and said both the business groups have decided to “fight jointly against elements who want to dilute identity of state’s permanent residents”.

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