Police resorted to canecharge and teargas shelling to disperse pro-AIIMS protesters at three places amid clashes in Jammu city, where a bandh was observed for second consecutive day on Saturday over the demand for establishment of AIIMS in the region.
The administration has imposed Ranbir Penal Code section 144, restricting the gathering in the Jammu city after violent clashes with police and activists of the AIIMS coordination committee on the second day of 72-hour Jammu bandh called for separate AIIMS in Jammu.
A complete bandh was observed in Jammu, Kathua, Reasi and Samba areas. The Congress, which is also supporting for separate AIIMS in Jammu, held protest demonstration. The ACC is not satisfied with the announcement of the AIIMS-like facilities in Jammu and Kashmir regions. It has termed it vague and said a notification categorically clarifying the demand should be made.
The activists of ACC moving in vehicles were stopped at Indra Chowk, Kacchi Chawani areas by police from moving towards the BJP headquarters, after which the clashes started. The police cane-charged the protestors and fired teargas shells to disperse stone-pelting protesters.
“Police were forced to cane charge and fire teargas shells at three places to control the situation. Eight people have been taken into custody,” said Jammu SP Rajiv Pandey.
District development commissioner Simrandeep Singh imposed section 144 in the Jammu city and peripheral tehsils.
ACC chairman Abhinav Sharma along the activists also clashed with people when they were stopped from taking out the rally. “It has now become a peoples’ movement. The BJP in an act of desperation is trying every trick to sabotage the movement and is stopping us from holding protest,” said ACC chairman.
The clashes were also reported at some places in the old city and in the evening police fired teargas shells in the Gandhi Nagar area also, where one person was reportedly injured.
In RS Pura, BJP MLA Gagan Bhagat and his supporters manhandled local Congress leader Mohan Chowdhary when his car was stopped by the MLA. The MLA was asking shopkeepers to open the shop. In Kathua, demonstrations were also held.
Activists of the Congress and the Panthers Party also held protest demonstrations.
For the second consecutive day, a complete bandh was observed in Jammu where business and educational institutions were remained closed. Protestors blocked highway and roads at many places by burning tyres. “The Congress strongly condemns the attempt by the government to disrupt the movement of AIIMS coordination committee.
The BJP, which claimed to be champion of the Jammu, now stands exposed and is trying to sabotage the movement,” said Congress spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said. The Congress demanding separate AIIMS for Jammu, has also sought resignation of deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.