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75 injured as violent clashes rock Jammu

Violent protests marred the 2nd day of the BJP-Shiv Sena sponsored bandh, over the Amarnath land transfer, following which curfew was imposed in parts of the city.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Jammu
UPDATED ON JUL 01, 2008 10:19 PM IST

Violent protests marred the second day of the BJP-Shiv Sena sponsored bandh in Jammu over the Amarnath land transfer as agitators fought pitched battles with police leaving 75 people, including 25 cops, injured following which curfew was imposed in parts of the city.

Jammu region was marred by violent clashes as BJP, Shiv Sena, VHP and Bajrang Dal activists fought pitched battles with police at over 27 places in Kathua, Jammu, Samba, Reasi, Udhampur and Ramban districts, official sources told PTI.

In baton charge, teargas shelling, and police firing and stone pelting by protesters, over 75 people including 25 policemen were injured. Of these, three were hurt in the police firing on a mob at Muthi in Jammu.

Over 80 protesters were also arrested, they said. All roads and highway remained choked by the dharnas, burning of tyres, barricades and stones. Police opened fire in the air at five places at Miransahib, Satwari, Bikram Chowk, Jatwal, Jakhani and Rehari areas to disperse angry mobs, who went on the rampage by pelting stones on vehicles and police.

One child was injured when a cavalcade of Amarnath yatra was attacked by a mob at Banihal on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Tuesday.

Protesters intercepted the vehicle of Congress MP Lal Singh at Jatwal Morh on the Jammu-Pathankote highway, the sources said, adding they pelted stones on his vehicle.

However, Singh claimed he was not manhandled or injured but only his vehicle was intercepted by an irate mob. Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone) K Rajindra said the situation is tense but under control. "There are no reports of communal incidents from anywhere in Jammu region during the bandh," he said.

Rajindra said adequate security measures taken and police deployed to foil designs of anti-social elements. Curfew has been imposed in areas under police jurisdiction of Janipur, Bakshi Nagar, Nawabad and Peer Mitha in the city, said DIG (Jammu-Kathua-Samba range) Farooq Khan.

He said the decision was taken after a meeting of senior civil and police officers presided over by Divisional Commissioner Sudhanshu Pandey in Jammu this afternoon.

Curfew will continue tomorrow as well, he said, adding in rest of the city Section 144 CrPC has been imposed.

The one-day bandh called by BJP and Shiv Sena demanding removal of Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra over the Amarnath Shrine land row and supported by several Hindu organisations and some political parties was extended for three days on Monday.

All shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads on the second day of the bandh. The government had announced closure of schools, colleges and educational institutions in view of the bandh as a precautionary measure. The Jammu University postponed examinations of management courses and common entrance tests on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Besides, petrol pumps have also observed a shutdown along with the Jammu Bar Association in support of the bandh.

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