Demonstrations and a bandh, called by a host of parties to protest the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims, paralysed normal life across the Jammu region on Tuesday. While it passed off peacefully with no reports of any untoward incident, the bandh — at the behest of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, National Conference, Jammu Kashmir National Panthers Party and the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry — led to shops and other business establishments being shut, with vehicles staying off the road in most places across the region.
The shutdown was complete in Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur and partially enforced in Rajouri, Poonch, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar districts, where government offices and public transport services functioned normally. In Jammu, there were two-wheeler rallies and processions against the attack.
Traffic movement along the Jammu-Kathua national highway was disrupted by demonstrations at various places, with protesters burning effigies, blaming the state government for failing to control the situation and also Pakistan “for fomenting trouble in the state”.
Stating that the Amarnath attack was aimed at disturbing communal harmony, BJP state spokesperson, Brig Anil Gupta (retd) appealed to people to “rise above all competitive politics and put up a united face to defeat the enemy’s nefarious designs’’. The opposition called for the resignation of the PDP-BJP coalition government. Party workers held demonstrations at district and block headquarters across the Jammu region.
Addressing hundreds of demonstrators in Jammu city, Zorawar Singh Jamwal of Team Jammu, a social organisation, accused the PDP-BJP coalition government here of having taken decisions that encourage “only anti-national forces”.