Protesters continue to defy the indefinite curfew orders in several areas
Jammu: There was no let-up in the violent scenes and blood-letting in Jammu on Thursday.
Sixty five people, including a large number of police personnel, were injured in fresh protests against the cancellation of the order transferring land to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board. Army carried out flag marches in curfew bound areas.
Protesters continued to defy the indefinite curfew orders in several areas. Police personnel who tried to implement the curfew earned the wrath of the protesters.
Kathua district, the gateway to the State, was the scene of massive protests. Protesters attacked the vehicles of districts officers. In Lakhanpur town of Kathua district — which borders Madopur area of Punjab — demonstrators set ablaze a toll post where entry tax on goods is collected. In the same district, a police post was also burnt.
On a request from the district administration, the Army carried out a flag march in Kathua town. Rail traffic was also affected in Kathua. Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar road was blocked, as protesters gathered at Samba, Udhampur and Nagrota.
There were fresh attacks on the properties of Congress leaders. Congress leader Mula Ram’s house was attacked. But the police posted there managed to disperse the crowd.
Around ten police personnel were injured in a number of places in Jammu city when they tried to disperse crowds of protesters. Mobs attacked a police party in sector 2 of Durga Nagar.
A few Congress activists of the region joined the protests on Thursday. Jai Singh, a Municipal corporator belonging to the Congress, came out with scores of his supporters defying curfew orders.
A group of social activists, lawyers , political leaders and academicians issued a joint appeal to the people and the leaders of the agitation to realise that the secular tradition and identity of Jammu was its real strength, which one cannot afford to weaken.
“The people of Jammu should try to enlist the support of all the communities for a struggle against all long pending grievances of the region and for a status of regional equality in all spheres. We should also be conscious of Jammu’s vital role as a geo-political bridge between people of Kashmir and the rest of India.
While people of Jammu have a right to protest against the leaders of Kashmir who whipped up popular sentiments and against the bungling of the coalition partners of the State Government who were primarily responsible for the present turmoil, as good patriots we should not unwittingly contribute to weakening the role of Jammu as a bridge.”