37 hurt in Jammu; 2 media houses sealed
At least 37 people were injured in violence over the Amarnath land row in Jammu region with fresh curfew imposed in Udhampur and Rajouri districts.Updated: Aug 03, 2008 21:19 IST
At least 37 people were injured in violence over the Amarnath land row in Jammu region with fresh curfew imposed in Udhampur and Rajouri districts even as authorities blocked transmission of programmes by two local TV channels, sealed offices of two Hindi dailies and suspended mobile SMS services.
Army conducted flag marches in trouble-torn Udhampur and Rajouri where protesters indulged in arson and heavy stone-pelting, officials said.
SMS service of mobile operators was suspended in view of fast spreading rumours, they said. Transmission of programmes by two local TV channels was also suspended and offices of two Hindi dailies sealed.
Protesters violated curfew restrictions at Domana, Janipur, Muthi, Bantalab, Satwari, Gandhinagar, Gangyal, Bakshi Nagar, Shakti Nagar, Samba, Bari Bhrahamana, Canal Road in Jammu and Samba districts on Sunday despite flag marches.
Over three companies of police swooped over the office of JK TV channel in Gandhinagar to force its closure following a government notice.
In a melee, 10 people, including two journalists and City SDPO Sawtanter Arora were injured. Four houses were burnt in R S Pura belt and four trucks damaged in stone pelting in Hiranagar.
At least 17 protesters were injured in other clashes, including some that took place overnight, with police in Gagwal, Lakhanpur, Bakshinagar and Shaktinagar areas of Jammu.
Twelve army columns were deployed in Jammu, nine in Samba, five in Kathua and seven in Udhampur districts.
Meanwhile, the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti stuck to its stand that all shrine land be handed back to the board.
"We want the land back. This move is to dilute the attention of the people from real issue," convenor of the Samiti Leela Karan Sharma told reporters in Jammu.
"We will not budge an inch from our demand on the land issue," said Sharma, adding "we have given our demands in writing to Governor NN Vohra and seek a reply in writing from him."
He also appealed to all government employees of Jammu region to go on mass casual leave on August 4 in support of the Samiti's demand of restoration of land to the shrine board.
Meanwhile, the 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway, connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, has been handed over to army for restoration of essential supplies to the Valley.
Traffic on the highway resumed after 12 days as 38 trucks carrying fruits from Kashmir to New Delhi crossed its trouble-torn section and entered Punjab area via Lakhanpur toll post in Kathua district under the army's supervision, officials said.
The Press Club of Jammu has taken strong exception to the sealing of offices of Amar Ujala and Dainik Jagran and also the black out of channels -- Take1 and JK.
PCJ president Manu Shrivatas termed the act as "imposition of undeclared emergency and gaging the voice of the media to put a blanket on the events of violence and mayhem in Jammu".