Jammu- Hindu Bloodbath continues, 2 More killed

published on August 4, 2008

2 more die as tension runs high in Jammu

Author: Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

Source:Daily Pioneer

Hours before Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta landed in Jammu to take stock of the ongoing agitation, weary police force opened fire on protesters and killed two among them on Jammu-Pathankot highway in Samba. At least 50 persons were injured across Jammu region in different incidents during the agitation.  


Several protesters were injured in police firing and incidents of stone pelting. The protesters, demanding restoration of forest land to Amarnath Shrine Board, were shot in the head. One of them identified as Sanjeev Singh died on the spot. Doctors declared him brought dead in the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu. Another critically wounded agitator Sunny Padha, a student, also succumbed to head injury later in the hospital. Official sources said Sanjeev Singh could not be identified due to severe wounds. Prabhu Dayal, another injured is undergoing treatment in the hospital. The situation was grim in Samba as thousands of protesters had blocked national highway despite presence of thick columns of Army.

Reports said that thousands of activists of Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti on Monday defied curfew and gathered in Samba to hold protest demonstrations. When the build-up was happening, a few activists started pelting stones on the police.

As the protests grew stronger and louder, the police opened fire on agitators to disperse them. The situation completely went out of hand and it was a free-for-all. Incidents of stone pelting and use of tear gas shells was going on till late in the evening.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Samba Sourav Bhagat maintained that no orders were issued to open fire on protesters adding that policemen fired in self-defence.

Curfew-bound Jammu remained tense on Monday. Angry protesters defied curfew at several places in Bakshi Nagar, Bhagwati Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Talab Tillo, Muthi Domana, Digiana, Janipur and old city areas to express their anger against the brutal use of police force on protesters in Samba.

Police and Rapid Action Force personnel deployed in sensitive areas used tear gas shells to disperse the protesters who torched several vehicles. In certain areas, police lobbed tear gas shells in residential areas triggering anger among local residents.

The situation in other curfew-bound districts was also tense. Udhampur witnessed clashes between police and agitators who blocked national highway at several places and held street demonstrations. In Rajouri, Kathua, Bhaderwah and Doda, similar protest demonstrations were held demanding removal of the Governor and restoration of forest land to the Shrine Board.

Senior Congress leaders, including Mangat Ram Sharma, Gulchain Singh Charak and BR Kundal rushed to Delhi to meet the Union Home Minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. BJP senior vice president Prof Hari Om accused the Governor of failing to control the situation. “The Governor is losing control and resorting to acts of repression without understanding the problem”, he added.

Prominent Panun Kashmir leader Dr Agnishekhar said people are finding it difficult to understand whether NN Vohra is a Governor or a dictator. Instead of understanding the issue and taking steps to defuse the crisis each day he is alienating nationalist forces in Jammu.

Meanwhile, to ensure easy movement of goods carrier to Kashmir, Governor NN Vohra has sought intervention of the Union Government and the State Government of Punjab to ensure smooth passage of Kashmir bound trucks.

Meanwhile, the high level team of the Centre headed by Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta on Monday directed the State administration in Jammu to handle the law and order situation in a better way.

Defence Secretary Vijay Singh and DG CRPF VK Joshi accompanied the Union Home Secreatry to Jammu to take stock of the situation. Principal Secretary Home Anil Goswami and DGP Kuldeep Khoda were among senior State officers present during the meeting.

Showing serious concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Jammu, the Union Home Secretary directed the State administration to carefully monitor the situation. The meeting was held at Jammu airport and after attending the meeting, the high level team left for Srinagar where they are expected to meet Governor NN Vohra.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) chairman Bhim Singh on Monday began a fast-unto-death on land issue and appealed to the Governor that the land be allotted to SASB after retaining its proprietary rights with the forest department.

Neither curfew nor police action is the solution. The solution lies in amending the July 1 order of the previous Government, which cancelled an earlier order diverting 39.88 hectares of land to SASB, he said. He also demanded a judicial inquiry into the “blunder” committed by the then Government, adds PTI.

Employees of the medical education department on Monday took mass casual leave and joined the ongoing agitation. Healthcare except emergency services remained paralysed in Government medical college and associated hospitals.

Various social, political and religious organisations condemned police firing on protesters and demanded due compensation to their kin.

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