Violence erupts in Jammu over shrine row

August 20th, 2008 - 9:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Amarnath Shrine

Jammu, August 20 (ANI): Hindu activists demanding restoration of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) went on rampage in parts of Jammu on Wednesday.

Authorities in Jammu region and Kashmir valley in the State re-imposed curfew today following violent protests in various parts on Tuesday evening.

Defying curfew protesters clashed with security personnel, seized vehicles and set them on fire. A police post in Janipur area of the city was rampaged and then set ablaze.

A private car of a leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was also burned by the protesters.

This is a political conspiracy. We have some opponents who are fighting from within and are trying to sabotage the agitation, said Nirmal Singh, a BJP leader.

Police and personnel of Rapid Action Force lobbed tear gas to disperse violent protesters.

Earlier in the day thousands of children courted arrest across the Jammu region as part of their third day of ”jail bharo andolan” called by the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS).

The region has been rocked by violent protests and demonstrations for more than six weeks over the issue of transfer of a forestland to the trust that runs Amarnath shrine, a cave shrine visited by Hindu pilgrims.

The row has snowballed into full-scale protests.

The dispute has polarized the state between the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley who are favouring the revocation order of the land transfer and the Hindu-dominated Jammu region who are demanding the land back. (ANI)

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