All of Jammu under curfew after violent protests

July 2nd, 2008 - 12:11 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Jammu, July 2 (IANS) An indefinite curfew was clamped on Jammu early Wednesday, a day after violent protests against the revocation of land transfer to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) injured 80 people. A curfew was imposed in some areas of Jammu - the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir - Tuesday afternoon but was extended to all parts of the city at 5 a.m. Wednesday. Police vehicles fitted with loudspeakers announced the imposition of curfew and a large number of local and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were deployed across the city.

The state government Tuesday cancelled its allotment of 40 hectares of forest land to the SASB, which organises an annual pilgrimage to the high altitude Amarnath shrine in Kahsmir dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The decision - taken by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad after a three-hour meeting with cabinet colleagues - quietened the violent protests against the allotment in Muslim-dominated Kashmir valley. Five people were killed during the protests last week, allegedly shot by police.

But the revocation of the allotment order led to protests by Hindu groups in Jammu Tuesday. Protesters clashed with security forces, resulting in police firing, baton charge and use of tear gas.

Sudhanshu Pandey, divisional commissioner (Jammu), said: “We are keeping a watch on the situation. The curfew is to keep the things under control.”

On Wednesday morning, there was no report of any violent incident till 10 a.m.

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