Curfew in Jammu and Kashmir town after clashes (Lead)

July 26th, 2010 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, July 26 (IANS) Curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba town after clashes between protestors and police over bovine smuggling left at least 20 people injured, police said.
Residents of Samba, 40 km south of Jammu, intercepted a group of bovine smugglers Monday. The word about the incident spread and enraged locals took to the streets, blocking traffic on the Jammu-Pathankot highway and raising slogans against the local administration.

The announcement of curfew was made late Monday evening after protestors allegedly assaulted police and tried to snatch their service weapons. Six vehicles were also set on fire, according to locals who spoke to IANS by phone.

The sporadic clashes between police and protestors continued till late in the day, police sources said.

Protestors pelted stones at the police. Teargas shells were used by police to disperse the violent mobs.

“The authorities are reviewing the situation, our first concern is to bring the situation under control here. There are fears that vested interests may attempt to communalise the situation,” a senior police official told IANS.

Samba had witnessed unprecedented protests during the Amarnath land row agitation in 2008.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has deputed state Minister for Industries S.S. Salathia and his political adviser D.S. Rana to review the situation, an official said.

“The chief minister has issued strict instructions that the situation should be controlled and those responsible for the trouble should be dealt with under the law of the land,” the official told IANS.

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