Minor Clashes, Protests In Jammu, Kathua, Reasi, Samba

Minor Clashes, Protests In Jammu, Kathua, Reasi, Samba

13 August 2013
Kashmir Times


Jammu: Amid sporadic incidents of violence, minor clashes and protests, two to three hours relaxation was given Tuesday in curfew-bound districts of Jammu region, except Kishtwar and Doda districts, where it was strictly enforced even on fifth and the third day respectively. While the reports of minor clashes, protests poured in from Jammu, Kathua, Reasi districts, violence-torn Kishtwar and parts of Doda district remained peaceful given strict enforcement of curfew there. In the meanwhile, across Jammu province 141 persons were arrested in connection with violence-related incidents since August 9, out of them 19 persons were held in the last twenty-four hours. The army remained deployed in all curfew-bound districts of Jammu region. Fresh protests against arrests in connection with the Kishtwar communal-strife on Tuesday rocked Jammu, Aknoor, Ramnagar and Samba areas even as curfew was relaxed in several towns of the Jammu region. In a related significant development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Tuesday decided to extend their Bandh call for 48-hours after a communiqué received from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) vis-à-vis their demand for compensating losses incurred by the victims of Kishtwar violence after individual assessment of every case, failed to satisfy them. The decision was made after late night meetings of BJP and Chamber representatives. While the curfew will continue in Kishtwar and Doda districts even tomorrow, a decision for relaxation or lifting of curfew in other districts will be taken tomorrow morning after reviewing the situation. This was revealed by the Divisional Commissioner Jammu Shantmanu in a press conference late this evening in Jammu. “Curfew has been relaxed in several towns in Jammu region for different periods. Night curfew however will continue. The situation is under control. There are no reports of any major untoward incident from anywhere during past 24 hours,” he said. On the political front, the former Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo, who on Monday tendered his resignation, today while talking to media persons reiterated his innocence in Kishtwar violence on Eid-ul-Fitr. “I’ll quit politics if found guilty or my role in violence gets established. Nevertheless, the Chief Minister has ordered the judicial enquiry and it will bring to the fore all facts,” he said. Kichloo, however, contradicted the statement of the Finance Minister P Chidambaram, which he made on behalf of the indisposed Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, in the Parliament on Kishtwar incident. Kichloo said that the people in the procession were not raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans but they were raising religious slogans which they had been raising for years. Chidambaram had stated that the two communities clashed as the members of majority community in a procession raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Former MoS Home stated that he, however, himself failed to understand as why the people came in procession for Eid prayers and why they chose to follow the route passing through Kuleed Mohalla which was not traditional route. Meanwhile, Amarnath yatra resumed today from Jammu after three days of suspension with a fresh batch of 225 pilgrims leaving for cave shrine amid tight security. All the government and private educational institutes will continue to remain closes on August 14. 2013. All examinations of the University of Jammu scheduled to be held on August 14, including all practical examinations have been postponed. Fresh dates would be notified later. JAMMU: The curfew was relaxed in different parts of Jammu city and outskirts after three days from 4 PM to 7 PM on Tuesday amid sporadic incidents of violence, minor clashes and protests. In some areas, the people defied curfew and held protest demonstrations, burnt tyres and raised anti-government slogans while in few areas, incidents of stone-pelting and attempt to damage a business establishment related to building construction and a shop near Subhash Nagar this evening during curfew relaxation. Hundreds of activists of National Panthers Party led by its president and MLA Balwant Singh Mankotia, ex-Minister and MLA harsh Dev Singh, ex-Minister and MLA Yashpal Kundal today defied curfew in Gandhi Nagar area and tried to take out a protest march towards Bikram Chowk area. A large contingent of Police led by SP South Rajeshwar Singh reached Gandhi Nagar and gheraoed the Panthers party activists not allowing them to move towards Bikram Chowk. The Panthers Party activists staged a dharna. Police later arrested the Panthers Party leaders and activists and detained them in Police station Gandhi Nagar. The activists and leaders were freed after five hours of detention. Jammu Bar Association president M K Bhaderwaj alleged that minors were picked up by the police in the city, particularly in Janipur police station area. “The state government should not resort to mass arrests. I have talked to IGP of Jammu in this regard,” he said. State VHP president was put under house arrest while general secretary was arrested as they were trying to hold protest demonstration defying curfew. Though the relaxation in curfew was given in Jammu city and outskirts yet the confusion persisted both in the administration and people after the reports of stone pelting and burning of tyres by some miscreants at Kanak Mandi and City Chowk areas. The relaxation was initially for two hours i.e., from 4.00 PM to 6.00 PM. However the people came to know about relaxation at around 5.00 PM. But again the confusion persisted after reports of violence poured in from Kanal Mandi, Lakhdatta Bazar and City Chowk areas. At a point, the people started running helter-skelter as the police immediately announced re-imposition of curfew. The army troops staged a flag march from Residency Road via Raghunath Bazaar, City Chowk to review the situation. A police contingent headed by North SP J S Johar also rushed to the spot to review the situation. After reviewing situation, the confusion was cleared and curfew relaxation was extended by one more hours i.e., up to 7.00 PM. Soon after the police control room vans fitted with loud speakers made an announcement about curfew relaxation a large number of people came out of their houses to purchase essential commodities and other items of necessity in different areas. Some of them managed to reach the market and lay their hands on items of their choice but for large number of late starters the rude shock was waiting their way. Those going from Gandhi Nagar towards Jammu city and other areas were told by the police at the Bikram Chowk crossing that the curfew relaxations were announced only for Jammu South and not for other parts of Jammu. Ironically, as large number of people in other parts of Jammu had also come out in their vehicles the law enforcing agencies and those who stepped out faced lot of hardships due to prevailing chaos and confusion. Presence of army in most areas of old city areas and in New Plot, Rehari and Sarwal areas also created piquant situation for local residents as army forced them to stay indoors. Due to chaos several residents could not purchase necessary items of daily use. In Jammu South, the curfew was relaxed from 4 to 6.00 PM. In Jammu West, where curfew relaxation was for two hours i.e., 6 to 8.00 PM, some miscreants tried to damage a business establishment related to building construction and a shop at Subhash Nagar near Shagun Palace this evening during curfew relaxation. However the timely intervention of army and police controlled the situation. The curfew was re-imposed in that particular area immediately. Panicky situation emerged at Janipur crossing also during curfew relaxation as the people in large number came out to buy essentials. At Gangyal, the people defied curfew and held protest demonstration. The police resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the mob. Similar attempt was made at Muthi by miscreants who held a protest demonstration, burnt tyres and resorted to stone pelting. Peace marches, meetings were also conducted at Janipur and in different areas of Jammu by the members of civil society with the help of administration, Gandhi Global Family and PYC. KISHTWAR: No curfew relaxation was given in Kishtwar district even on the fifth day yet it remained peaceful with no report of any untoward incident today. In the meanwhile, a couple from Czech Republic, stranded in curfew-bound Kishtwar since August 8 following communal flare up, Tuesday sought the intervention of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to evacuate them out of the violence-hit town. The couple was on trekking expedition in the district. Restrictions on the movement of media persons continued to be in place and so did the ban on entry of media persons and the politicians from outside the district which otherwise remained peaceful on the fifth day of indefinite curfew imposed after communal flare-up on Eid-ul-Fitr. The Czech couple appealed to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to help to evacuate it out of the violence-hit town. “We appeal to the government and the Chief Minister to get us out of Kishtwar. We have been stranded here since August 8. We also tried to approach the police also, but nobody is helping us,” Aleshilik said while talking to KTNS over phone. Aleshilik, along with his wife Marketa, was on a trekking expedition from Kishtwar for Dacchan and Paddar areas and to the Zanaskar belt of Ladakh, when communal violence broke in the town and curfew was imposed on August 9. “We pleaded with the authorities including the police to get us out of town, but there was no response. Nobody came forward to help us. We are living in a hotel like hostages without proper facilities and food. For the past couple of days, we’ve been living on just biscuits as no eatables are left with us,” said Aleshilik presently putting up in hotel ‘Samjhauta’. This was their second trip to Kishtwar. Four years ago also, they had visited the district. This time, they arrived on August 8 evening and were caught up unawares as sudden communal flare on August 9 morning made them stranded in the hotel. “We’re getting no cooperation from the civil or police administration. Nobody is willing to speak to us. This time we’re requesting the chief Minister through media to arrange for evacuation from this place,” Aleshilik said. He can be contacted on his mobile number 9796881303. In the meanwhile the district administration on Tuesday made a fresh effort to convene a peace meeting by inviting the members of both the communities to reconcile their differences yet the members of minority community boycotted it yet again. They stated that they won’t attend any such meeting till the administration conceded to their demands for CBI probe into Kishtwar violence, Rs 10 lakhs compensation for the gutted shops and houses and registration of FIR against former Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo for his controversial and partisan role in the communal violence. The internet services also remained affected for the fifth day in the district thus restricting the communication. The protest at Hidyal area of Kishtwar, which witnessed violent clash between the police and protesters on Monday after a youth was picked up by the police, was called off after the mother of the youth held was taken to police station where her son was kept. “She got some assurance from the police after which she relented and the protest was called off,” the locals said. The area remained peaceful today. In all, four open FIRs were registered in violence-related incidents since August 9 in the district. REASI: Restrictions imposed u-s 144 CrPC were relaxed from 0600 Hrs to 0800 Hrs in first instance and later on extended to 1000 Hrs in Reasi town (municipal limits - jurisdiction of Reasi Police station). Peaceful protests were carried out at Bus Stand and Nai Basti, which comprised, respectively, of 100-120 and 100-150 persons. Situation remained normal in the town during relaxation but market was closed in response to call extended for shut down. District Magistrate accompanied by Assistant Commissioner Development, three Executive Magistrates and police officers visited Ransoo, Bhambla, Pouni. Meetings were held with local representatives and also from business establishments to instill confidence. Market was shut down in Pouni and was completely open in Ransoo and Bhambla towns. No incident of violence was reported form any rural or urban area in this entire sector. However it remained tense. Additional District Development Commissioner camped in Arnas since morning along with Tehsildar (s) and three other Executive Magistrates. They held meeting with public and also toured rural areas in the block. ADDC held meetings with 10-12 sarpanches and local businessmen as well as representatives of political parties. Market remained open and no incident was reported. Some tension erupted in Chassana last night about an alleged act of sacrilege which was later found to be a motivated act of some persons with a malafide intention to settle persona scores over land dispute with another party. However, keeping in view the situation SDM and SDPO rushed to spot past midnight last night and they camped there. One arrest was made and general public was informed about the mischief following which situation was defused. SDM held public meetings at all four places. Situation was reported to be normal. Yatra to both the shrines viz., Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji and Shri Shiv Khori remained peaceful. Special magistrates and security had been deployed for security and smooth conduct of yatra. Shut down was observed in Katra town. One peaceful march was carried out. Army authorities were pressing hard for derequisition of Army columns deployed in Reasi town and kept on standby-replacement during relaxation. Security review was held at 1800 Hrs for deciding further course of action, relaxation would be given from tomorrow morning.. Full dress rehearsal for Independence Day celebration function scheduled for today could not be held today however all arrangements were made for I-Day. UDHAMPUR: The period of curfew relaxation from 6 to 8 PM in the district passed off peacefully. However last night, some miscreants had damaged around eight trucks at Dhar Road near the district hospital. This escalated tension thus resulting in strict enforcement of curfew in the morning with no relaxation. As the news of arrest of JKNPP leaders in Jammu spread there, the party activists defied curfew and held a protest dharna which was lifted after they were released. BJP activists led by Pawan Gupta and Pawan Khajuria too held protest demonstrations defying curfew. Some minor incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Sudh Mahadev, Chenani and ramnagar. KATHUA: The curfew relaxation was there from 8 to 10 AM. The curfew was defied at Shiva Nagar, Patel Nagar and Parli Band where minor incidents of stone-pelting were reported. Bar Association held a protest demonstration as the curfew passes were not issued. However the police personnel deployed there resorted to mild lathicharge which resulted into clash. Later SP reached on the spot and suspended Constable who was involved inlathicharge. Two advocates including Atul Gandotra were injured in lathicharge.