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JAMMU, Mar 27: National Democratic Party Indian (NDPI) J&K Unit President Rajesh Gupta on Friday said, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would go under a 21 day ‘lockdown’ – without mentioning how the supply of essentials would be ensured – panic took over the streets in most parts of J&K with people rushing to grocery stores and medical stores to stock up, with uncertainty clouding the weeks to come. However the Ministry of Home Affairs later released an order which listed essential services such as grocery stores, vegetable vendors, medical stores, etc which were exempt from the lockdown said, Gupta.
Gupta said, prices of essential commodities have also started to increase. In Jammu’s wholesale Narwal Fruit and Vegetable Market and in Parade Sabji Mandi, prices of fruits and vegetables have jumped nearly two and three times. Retailers and shop keepers are unsure as to when they are expected to get the next supply of fruits, vegetables and other food commodities.
NDPI Chief asked the government to reach out to vendors, daily rated workers and destitute sections of the society, with a financial package on a war footing to ensure they do not suffer. He said people too have a role to play. “Unfortunately, the government seems to be a mute spectator to their miseries and sufferings,” said Gupta. He further added spools of concertina wires and barricades – a familiar sight – are back on the roads in the city and elsewhere, and contingents of police and paramilitary CRPF have taken over the Jammu to enforce a complete lockdown.
Rajesh Gupta said, “the curbs, however, led to panic buying with people stocking up essentials and medicines in many parts of Jammu. The panic buying had been going on for some days, but picked up late on Tuesday night, like in other parts of India, after the PM’s lockdown-announcement. Long rows of cars were witnessed outside grocery shops with people waiting in queues to buy whatever they could lay hand. “Every item has been sold out, not a single packet of milk or cooking oil is left now, Gupta, said”.
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