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Five injured in fresh clashes in Jammu

india Updated: Aug 09, 2008 20:08 IST
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Five people were injured today in fresh clashes between police and protestors in the curfew-bound Jammu region as Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS) held talks with the all-party delegation, headed by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, on the Amarnath land issue.

Several groups protesting against revocation of transfer of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board defied curfew and pelted policemen with stones in several areas of Poonch district, official sources told PTI.

Police resorted to cane-charge and teargas shelling to quell the protests in which five people were injured. The Army staged a flag march to bring the situation situation under control.

Earlier in the day, over 50 protestors were arrested for violating curfew orders while the Army staged flag marches at several places and blocked the city with barbed wire fences.

SASS, a conglomeration of 40 organisations spreaheading the agitation, held meeting with all-the party delegation after their demand of keeping three leaders -- NC patron Farooq Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz -- hailing from the Kashmir valley out of the exercise was accepted.

Reviewing law and order and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Patil asked the state government to deal with the current situation with a "balanced" approach.

Curfew was defied and protest rallies held at various places in Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur districts, the sources said.

There were reports of violence during the past two days during which protest rallies were totally peaceful without any clashes.

Police also arrested BJP spokesman Pramodh Kapaie, the district Yuva Morcha president Pravan Gupta and RSS leader Upinder Bhat in the city.

Members of the Amun Paigam Yatra, led by Jharkhand Shahi Imam Moulana Hizb Rehman Merthi, were stopped by police at Lakhanpur inter-state bus terminal in Kathua district. They later staged a dharna at the Jammu-Pathankote highway.

Police said around 50 activists, including 14 women, were arrested.

"We have not allowed yatra and delegation to enter Jammu and Kashmir as there is curfew in Kathua and adjoining areas," Deputy Commissioner of Kathua Mandeep Kour told PTI on phone.

"They gave a memorandum for Governor N N Vohra and we have received it," she said.

Accusing the administration of stopping them from meeting the leaders, Moulana Merthi said: "it is unfortunate that the administration and police have stopped us from entering Jammu and Kashmir."

Authorities withdrew curfew relaxations amid flag marches by the Army in the Jammu region.

In Kathua, curfew was extended for 72 hours by the district administration. The curfew entered ninth day today in Jammu and Samba districts. Other areas under curfew included Rajouri, Kathua and Poonch.

As many as nine people have been killed during the 40-day agitation in Jammu over the Amarnath land row.