Jammu: Ignoring appeals to call off their protest shutdown on the AIIMS issue in Jammu region, the agitation committee spearheading the stir on Sunday extended their shutdown by another 72 hours.
"The utter failure of the untrustworthy central government to announce a full-fledged All India Institute of Medical Sciences for Jammu region has forced the AIIMS coordination committee to extend the 'bandh' to August 5," local Bar Association president Abhinav Sharma told the media here on Sunday.
Abhinav Sharma, who heads the AIIMS coordination committee, said that the panel hoped that the massive public response the stir call evoked across Jammu would make the BJP to read the writing on wall, but it was not to be.
"The BJP yet again betrayed the people of the Jammu region by taking recourse to white lies to hoodwink and mislead the people. We understand BJP's deception and mischief," he said.
The state BJP on Sunday appealed to the AIIMS agitation committee to call off its protest shutdown in the city, which was to end on Sunday, and blamed the opposition Congress and the National Conference of trying to create confusion over the sensitive issue.
"Since the demand for an AIIMS for Jammu has been fulfilled, there is no justification in continuing with the agitation spearheaded by the coordination committee," Bharatiya Janata Party state president and parliamentarian Jugal Kishore Sharma told media persons at the party headquarters here.
Commenting on the BJP assurance, the bar association president said, "The AIIMS Act does not allow what union Health Minister J.P. Nadda tweeted on July 30 and what the cornered BJP ministers here in Jammu and Kashmir are trying to make the people of Jammu to believe."
"No AIIMS in India can ever have two presidents, two vice chancellors, two governing bodies and two directors. What they are saying is a gross violation of the Act and an act of criminal disinformation," Abhinav Sharma said.
"Nowhere in India has the AIIMS been divided into two parts or two campuses because it will defeat the very purpose of the institution. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Act 2012 clearly says that to establish an AIIMS, it is mandatory to issue a notification specifying the place and the state where the AIIMS is to be established," the AIIMS coordination committee head said.
"Breaking AIIMS into parts and setting them in various parts of the state defeats the very purpose of the medical research institution. The BJP ministers have only made a mockery of themselves and exposed their abject ignorance of the issue," he said.
Abhinav Sharma said the competent authorities in New Delhi should issue a notification as per the Act to establish AIIMS in Jammu in the current financial year, without indulging in vague and misleading statements.