Curfew relaxed for a few hours in Jammu, Kishtwar still on lockdown
Curfew was relaxed in all 14 towns of the Jammu division except Kishtwar for a few hours on Wednesday, with no untoward incident reported. Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also called off the bandh.india Updated: Aug 14, 2013 20:12 IST
Curfew was relaxed in all 14 towns of the Jammu division except Kishtwar for a few hours on Wednesday, with no untoward incident reported. Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also called off the bandh.
However, national newspapers were not allowed for the third consecutive day in Jammu division and mobile Internet services remained suspended, while the Jammu University suspended all exams.
In Kishtwar, the minority community refused to hold talks with the district administration.
"People have suffered losses of lakhs of rupees, and many have been rendered jobless. The government has mocked us by offering the paltry sum of Rs 2 lakh as compensation," said Kishtwar Sanatan Dharma Sabha chief Han Raj, over the telephone.
Demanding immediate dismissal of the senior superintendent of police and deputy inspector general of Kishtwar, he said the government should take immediate steps to restore the businesses of those affected.
The BJP called off its agitation and the 72-hour bandh it had called for earlier, as "the administration had accepted its three main demands".
However, BJP state president Jugal Kishore Sharma announced that the party would, after the Independence Day, launch a sustained agitation programme in support of its demands, including early implementation of the demands conceded by the government, immediate release of innocent persons under detention, and further strengthening of village development committees (VDC).
"People of Jammu know that the BJP is the only political party capable of safeguarding their interests against discrimination and injustice by the National Conference-Congress coalition government," he said, claiming that the BJP would continue to take up nationalist issues, including those related to security of minorities, VDCs and cross-border militancy.
The core group of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) comprising chief patron Bhim Singh, chairman Harsh Dev Singh, president Balwant Singh Mankotia, general secretary Yashpaul Kundal and Young Panthers president Syed Rafiq Shah, appealed to the people to continue the "battle for restoration of peace, human dignity" and for imposition of governor's rule to preserve communal harmony and national integrity.
Accusing the Jammu BJP of "another sell-out" after 2008 to the government to seek their "individual and personal interest and gains", the JKNPP alleged, "This is obvious from the grand betrayal by the so-called opposition party, which has been playing a fixed match as NC's 'B' team ever since the NC-Congress alliance was created."
Vishwa Hindu Parishad echoed their views, saying the leaders "sold themselves off, thus denting the Jammu people's aspirations".
Party chief Ramakant Dubey said that VHP had suspended the agitation till after Independence Day celebrations, and would come up with a renewed strategy for agitation.