Uneasy calm as Jammu braces for protesters to court arrest

August 18th, 2008 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS  


Jammu, Aug 18 (IANS) An uneasy calm prevailed in the entire Jammu region Monday as people feared violence following an announcement by the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarash Samiti, which has been spearheading the protests against revocation of land allotment to the Amarnath shrine, that its members would court arrest. All entry points to the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir were sealed by security personnel. Hundreds of police, paramilitary and army personnel were deployed across the city.

The Samiti had Sunday announced that a minimum of 100,000 people would court arrest. However, there were no signs of protesters gathering here Monday.

“It appears that the forces have locked up all the leaders to foil their attempt to court arrest,” said a passerby at Rehari Colony, where Samiti convenor Leela Karan Sharma was to lead the protesters in courting arrest.

Few private vehicles were seen plying on the roads and all shops, barring those of chemists, remained shut as Jammu faced a shutdown for the 24th day. People carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders could be seen returning disappointed from dealers as they could not get them refilled.

“All supplies are going to the Kashmir valley and not even a single truck has been unloaded here,” complained an LPG dealer in Kacchi Chawani area.

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