Complete Shutdown In Samba, Kathua

Complete Shutdown In Samba, Kathua

27 September 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Arteev Sharma

Kathua: A complete shutdown was observed today in Kathua and Samba districts to protest the militant attacks on the Hiranagar police station and an Army camp yesterday. People in both districts blocked the Jammu-Pathankot national highway at several places. They burnt tyres to lodge their protest against the Central and state governments for their “soft approach” towards curbing terrorism. Protesters also took on the Police Department, especially officers concerned, for their failure in sounding an alert after the attack. They said the precious lives of the Army jawans killed in the attack in Samba could have been saved, if they (police officers) would had alerted all check posts in time. All commercial establishments and shops remained closed in Samba town, 2 km from the camp of the 16 Cavalry of the Army, which was stormed by three fidayeens yesterday, who killed four Army personnel, including a Lt Colonel. Residents of Samba assembled at the main bazaar, blocked the highway and burnt tyres. Traffic was disrupted for an hour, with protesters demanding suspension of all bilateral ties with Pakistan. People of the Kootah area and adjoining villages blocked the highway for an hour at the Kootah morh and demanded action against senior police officers, particularly the Station House Officer (SHO), Hiranagar police station, for their failure in alerting security agencies and check posts about the movement of terrorists, who had hijacked a truck and later boarded an unknown vehicle to reach the Army camp in Samba after killing six persons, including four policemen and two civilians, in Hiranagar. “Shiv Kumar Sangra, a constable from Kootah, was killed while fighting the terrorists but the SHO, Hiranagar, who was inside the police station, escaped from the spot and didn’t bother to inform his seniors or sound an alert to track the movement of the fidayeens on the highway. Had he alerted the security agencies in time, the lives of the Army jawans could have been saved,” a protester alleged. They also came down heavily upon Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for not visiting the family of the slain police constable in Kootah and said no government official or minister had met the aggrieved family. The situation was similar in Hiranagar, Dayalachak and other towns of Kathua district where a complete shutdown was observed to protest the fidayeen attacks. Additional deployment of troops and policemen was made along the highway, with security agencies putting up nakas to keep a check on the movement of suspicious elements.