Protests rock Jammu region, Amarnath pilgrims stopped

Protests rocked several areas of Jammu division Friday to protest the firing incident in Ramban where curfew remained in force even as authorities stopped a fresh batch of Amarnath pilgrims from leaving for the shrine.

A shutdown was called by Muslim outfits in several areas like Bhaderwah, Banihal, Thathri, Kishtwar, Gool, Doda, Sangaldan to protest against the incident.

Additional forces were deployed in sensitive areas a day after four persons were killed and 44 others, including security personnel, injured in stone-pelting and resultant firing when a mob attacked a Border Security Force (BSF) camp in Ramban district over alleged high-handedness by a BSF team.

“The situation is under control — it is peaceful — but there have been protests in some areas,” inspector general of police (IGP) Jammu zone, Rajesh Kumar told PTI.

Kumar said that adequate security has been deployed in the region to ensure peace and normalcy in the region.

As many as 42 injured people are getting treatment in GMC hospital, Ramban district hospital and Srinagar hospital.

Protests rocked Bhaderwah, Banihal, Thathri, Kishtwar, Gool, Doda, Sangaldan areas of Jammu region amid rising of anti-India slogans and burning of tyres, police said.

In Bhaderwah and Thathri, protestors took out a march and burnt tyres demanding arrest of the culprits and punishment to them.

There was a shutdown in various towns in Jammu regions against the incident.

“There were no reports of any untoward incident reported from anywhere in the areas,” IG said.

In the wake of the incident, no fresh batch of Amarnath pilgrims was allowed Friday from Jammu for Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, police said.

Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed since midnight Thursday night as a precautionary measure.

The Jammu and Kashmir government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident while home minister Sushilkumar Shinde directed a probe into the role of BSF that is stationed in the area to guard railway installations.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah had condemned the killing of protestors and said such incidents had the potential to jeopardise the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

Inspector general of BSF Jammu frontier Rajeev Krishna had said that its personnel opened fire in self-defence with “maximum restraint” to quell the violence by the mob which tried to storm their storehouse of arms and ammunition.

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