Shrine fire blazes in Jammu | india | Hindustan Times
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Shrine fire blazes in Jammu

At least 35 people, were injured when protesters clashed with security forces in Digiana and Kathua areas of the Jammu province, reports Vikram Sharna.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2008 23:53 IST
Vikram Sharna

At least 35 people, including a Senior Superintendent of Police, were injured on Monday when protesters clashed with security forces in Digiana and Kathua areas of the Jammu province during the “chakka jam” agitation called by the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS). Authorities imposed curfew in Kathua to bring the situation under control.

The situation in Digiana took a violent turn when a procession was denied movement by the security forces. The police resorted to lathi-charge and burst teargas shells to disperse the stone-pelting mobs.

Five police personnel, including SSP Manmohan Singh and SDPO Sukhdev Singh, were injured. A group of agitators also tried to ransack a police post at Digiana. RAF, too, fired teargas and rubber pellets to disperse the irate mob.

Curfew was immediately clamped in Kathua. Reports from Kathua district said a mob of over 1,000 people clashed with the police.

Authorities tried to ensure that there was no blockade on the national highway between Pathankote and Jawahar tunnel, where prohibitory orders were imposed. Responding to Monday’s Chakka Jam, the protesters put Jammu under siege since early morning.

Meanwhile, the SAYSS warned the state administration “to rein in its oppressive measures against the innocent people, failing which the Samiti may be forced to freeze the talks”.

It said government had deliberately re-transferred some “notorious officers” in the state police so that the “peaceful and popular movement of Jammu can be curbed through hard measures”. Addressing the press conference here, Samiti convenor Leela Karan Sharma said, “Two things cannot go simultaneously. We cannot pursue with talks on one hand when innocent and nationalist people are made target of police atrocities on the other. I warn the state administration to immediately stop its oppressive measures, lest we would be forced to boycott the talks.”