Curfew imposed in Jammu, Army called inAugust 31st, 2008 - 3:33 pm ICT by ANI
Jammu, Aug 31 (ANI): Authorities in Jammu on Sunday imposed curfew and the Army has been called in to prevent a ”vijay rally” called by the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti following the signing of an agreement with the Jammu and Kashmir Government early this morning.
Angry protesters defied the curfew, as the Army went all out to stop the people from participating in the victory march to celebrate its victory after a 61-day long agitation.
Security forces used tear gas to restrain the stone pelting protesters.
Following intelligence inputs that suggested the presence of terrorists in and around the city, prompted the authorities to impose curfew today.
There was a threat to the rally in view of the apprehensions of some terrorists” presence in the outskirts of the city. They could use this occasion to trigger violence, official sources said.
Earlier in the day, the four-member panel appointed by the Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra signed an agreement with the Samiti during their fourth round of talks, which started around 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and ended by 5:00 a.m. on Sunday.
After the talks, the Samiti and the panel led by Advisor to J-K Governor Dr.S.S. Bloeria agreed that 800 kanals of land at Baltal would be exclusively used by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board for the yatra period. No money will be charged for using the forest land. However, the ownership of the land will not undergo any change.
As per the agreement, the Shrine Board will continue to discharge its responsibilities and it will supervise all arrangements of yatra with the support of the State Government.
“The state government shall set aside, for the use, by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, exclusively, the land in Baltal and Gumel (compartment number 63 (a), Sindh forest division) comprising an area of 800 kanals (40 hectares), traditionally in use for the annual yatra purposes,” said Dr. S.S. Boleria, Advisor to the State Governor.
Soon after the Government’’s decision, the SASS announced its decision to suspend the agitations till some of their demands were met with further.
“We have decided to suspend the agitation as there has to be some follow up,” said the Samiti Convenor Leela Karan.
Meanwhile, celebrations erupted in Jammu, over the decision, as people came out on streets to express their happiness by dancing on streets.
“I”m very happy today. All the sacrifices made by the activists during the agitation has paid off, we have got the land,” said Kaushalya Devi, a resident of Jammu.
After days of unrest and disturbances, the decision came as respite to the people.
Policemen patrolled the streets and barbed wire fencing was put on the roads to stop the movement in the city. An aerial surveillance was also carried out by army helicopter to keep a check on the region.
The people said, the Government has dampened their spirit by imposing the curfew and abstaining them from celebrating.
“It is a happy day for us after almost three months. People had come out since five in the morning, but, the Government has imposed a curfew in the area, saying militants have been sighted in the region, but we do not know what the actual case is,” said Vikram Singh, another resident.
Meanwhile, authorities in the Kashmir Valley relaxed curfew for varying periods in six of the ten districts today.
Curfew was eased for three hours in all parts of Srinagar from 9:00 a.m. while it was relaxed in Bandipora and Pulwama from 8:00 a.m. and in Baramulla, Budgam and Kupwara districts from 10 a.m.
However, no relaxation was given in rest of the four districts, Shopian, Kulgam, Ganderbal and Anantnag districts, sources said. (ANI)