Violence in Jammu too, Samiti puts off talks

25 August 2008
The Indian Express

JAMMU: In a major setback, the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS) on Monday said it would not hold any talks with the Governor’s panel until the Inspector General of Police (Jammu zone) K Rajendra Kumar and Senior Superintendent of Police Jammu Manohar Singh were transferred. Samiti convenor Leela Karan Sharma said this decision had been taken in view of the “police atrocities in various parts of Jammu, especially in Digaina, Satwari Nai Basti, Akhnoor road and Kathua, today”. The fourth round of talks was set to be held in a day or so. Sharma alleged that the police ransacked houses and damaged nearly 150 private vehicles in Satwari and Nai Basti areas today. Charging the police with using brute force on protestors, he claimed that a four-year-old was among those injured in police action. Meanwhile, a 72-hour curfew was clamped in Kathua town today following fresh incidents of violence at various places, which left many injured. All roads across Jammu region wore a deserted look as pro-Amarnath protesters imposed “civil curfew” following the “chakka jam” call by the Samiti. Protestors blocked roads by burning tyres, putting up barbed wire and holding dharnas. Trouble erupted at Digiana when a contingent of the Jammu & Kashmir Armed Police tried to stop a mob of protestors from taking out a procession on the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway. As protestors pelted stones, police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells. At least two dozen people, including SSP Singh, were injured. In Jammu city, police lobbed teargas shells and fired rubber bullets to disperse a mob of youths pelting stones. A police van was set ablaze by protestors on the Jammu-Akhnoor road. Nearly a dozen people were injured in a clash with the police at Kathua, forcing the administration to impose curfew. The situation remained volatile in other parts of Jammu as well.