Nearly a dozen people were injured and over half a dozen vehicles torched in Gujjar Nagar area of Jammu City as violence broke out during Jammu bandh on Friday morning.
The bandh was called by Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and it was touted by various political, social and religious organisations to protest the killing of at least 40 CRPF men in a militant attack in Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
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The trouble erupted when a group of people belonging to various organisations including Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, and VHP took out a procession carrying tricolour through Gujjar Nagar, which is predominantly inhabited by Muslims.
The protestors alleged that they were first attacked by some people in the area. The locals, however, denied it saying that the protesters turned violent without any provocation and started torching vehicles parked outside Jogi gate cremation ground.
As clashes broke out in the area with both sides pelting stones on each other, senior police officers including IGP MK Sinha reached the spot. Police resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse unruly mobs on both sides.
Elsewhere, the bandh was peaceful with no report of any untoward incident from any part of Jammu region. Life had become paralysed with vehicular traffic off the roads and business establishments closed.
BJP president Ravindra Raina along with the sitting MP Jugal Kishore was among many senior party leaders who were sitting on dharna blocking the busy bridge over river Tawi.
The lawyers too took out a procession in Jammu city to express solidarity with the families of CRPF men killed in militant attack in the valley.
Meanwhile, far away in Rajouri’s Dudasan Bala village, nearly 175 kilometres from Jammu, a pall of gloom descended the area as one of the deceased CRPF personnel happen to be a local. He was escorting the CRPF convey from Jammu which came under the militant attack in the valley.