Jammu stays calm, curfew relaxed

August 11th, 2008 - 12:33 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Jammu, Aug 11 (IANS) The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir lifted curfew from Kathua and Bhaderwah districts and relaxed curfew in other towns after violent protests over the Amarnath land row abated in the region. For the first time over the past one week, authorities here decided to relax curfew for 11 hours from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. In Samba, it was relaxed for six hours from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Demonstrations demanding allocation of forest land in Kashmir to the management board of the Amarnath cave shrine continued Sunday but no untoward incident was reported, officials said.

The authorities also lifted curfew in Bhaderwah and Kathua districst following an “improvement in the situation”.

However, shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed Monday, as the shutdown call by the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS) has been extended to Thursday.

“We will continue to support the agitation as long as it takes to get our demand for the restoration of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board fulfilled,” said Bishan Dass, a shopkeeper in Gandhi Nagar area here. He said he had not opened his shop since the agitation began in Jammu over 40 days ago.

“Let it take any amount of time, we will continue our stir till something positive emerges,” said Joginder Singh, a college student.

Several thousand Indian Army personnel have been deployed all across Jammu to control the situation, which had worsened after the more than five-week-long violent stir, over the land transfer to the temple board and its subsequent revocation created an unprecedented communal wedge in the state.

The army was called out after violent protesters blocked traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway - the only motorable road link to the valley - disrupting supply of essential commodities to Kashmir.

A provincial official said that the supplies have been resumed and there were no problems on the highway now.

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