Curfew was imposed in Ranibagh and its surrounding areas, on the outskirts of Jammu city, on Thursday following violent clashes between the police and Sikh protesters, in which one person was killed and about two dozen injured.
The Sikhs were protesting against the removal of a hoarding carrying the photograph of slain militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Trouble began in Gaddigarh area near Jammu airport on Wednesday evening, when some Sikh youths reportedly stabbed a police sub-inspector. On Thursday morning, a group of protesters assembled in the area, demanding that the hoarding should be re-installed. The situation worsened as their numbers increased. By afternoon, some people in the crowd reportedly started pelting stones at the police. The police responded with a lathicharge, lobbed teargas shells and fired in the air.
One of the protesters then allegedly fired at passers-by from another community, following which the police opened fire, injuring four persons. One of them, Jagjeet Singh of Chohalla, died on the way to hospital.
Jammu SSP Uttam Chand was among those injured in the violence.
Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said curfew has been imposed in areas from Satwari to Miran Sahib. The Army staged a flag march on the road from R S Pura to Satwari.
However, trouble spread to other parts of the state, with groups of Sikhs holding demonstrations at Nanak Nagar and Digiana on the outskirts of Jammu city. Some protesters even blocked the Jammu-Pathankote national highway at Rajbagh on Thursday evening.
According to reports, the Bhindranwale hoarding was put up by a Sikh body to inform people about the “Gurmat Samagam” at Simbal camp on June 6. The organisers claimed they have been holding the function every year in the memory of those killed in Operation Blue Star.