Admn to review situation today
Traffic remains off the NHs, major roads
JAMMU, Feb 17: Curfew continued for third consecutive day today in entire Jammu City, where Army remained deployed in sensitive areas staging flag march while police have detained over 100 more youth even as no incident of violence or protests were reported from any part of Jammu district or elsewhere.
Authorities tonight decided to review situation of Jammu City at 12 noon tomorrow to take decision on relaxation of curfew as the restrictions have been causing enormous inconvenience to the people in view of shortage of all essential commodities including milk, vegetables, medicines etc.
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Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar told the Excelsior after high-level review of today’s situation that the authorities decided against giving any relaxation in curfew today though the situation remained normal throughout the day in all curfew bound areas as no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
He said curfew remained in force as precautionary measures in anticipation of breach of peace.
SSP Jammu Tejender Singh said situation in entire Jammu district was peaceful today with no untoward incident being reported from any part. Army, CRPF and police remained deployed in strength in sensitive areas of the City to enforce curfew restrictions and keep law and order situation under control, he added.
There were no reports of any major incident of protests in any part of Jammu City, which reeled under curfew restrictions for third consecutive day today. Security forces remained deployed in strength in trouble prone areas, where Army, which was called out on Friday, continued to stage flag march to restore confidence among the people.
Sources said police have detained over 100 youth for protests in defiance of curfew restrictions but some of them are gradually released as situation eased in their areas. Authorities have deployed additional security personnel outside the Government quarters where the Civil Secretariat employees were putting up. However, no incident was reported from any such areas today, reports said.
Curfew was imposed and Army called out in entire Jammu City on Friday afternoon after some youth indulged in arson and stone pelting while protesting against martyrdom of 44 CRPF jawans in Pulwama on Thursday.
People faced acute shortage of essential commodities in curfew bound areas of Jammu City as supplies of milk, vegetables and medicines were disrupted due to closure of shops and suspension of vehicular movement by the authorities with a view to enforce strict curfew restrictions.
People wondered that even in completely peaceful areas, where there was no violence or any other kind of incident at all, authorities continued to enforce curfew strictly and didn’t allow people to venture out.
Worst sufferers were pilgrims of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji shrine and travelers, who had to take trains and flights as they either had to cover long distance on foot or cancel their travel plans. No arrangements were made by the administration to transport pilgrims and travelers to help them reach their destinations.
Meanwhile, in all other areas of Jammu district, where there was no curfew, shops and business establishments remained closed for third consecutive day today and traffic was off the roads in protest against the martyrdom of 44 CRPF jawans at Pulwama.
In Kathua district also, bandh was observed for third day at Billawar, Basohli, Hiranagar and some other areas. People also took out protest demonstrations at various places shouting anti-Pakistan slogans.
Traffic on Jammu-Pathankot and Jammu-Srinagar National Highways and Jammu-Akhnoor road also remained suspended. However, private vehicles plied normally on the highways and other major roads. Long distance buses too didn’t move out of the General Bus Stand, Jammu. However, train and air services were normal.
Life in all other districts of Jammu region returned to normal today.
JKAP cops beat-up innocents,
refuse to acknowledge passes
Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police (JKAP) personnel deployed at various places in curfew bound areas of Jammu City today brazenly displayed their utter communal attitude by beating-up, harassing and tearing off curfew passed issued by none other than the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu and forcing the people, who had to go to hospitals, railway stations, airports or weddings, to return to their homes.
Excelsior received large number of telephone calls and complaints through other communication modes from the people, who claimed that Army, CRPF and Jammu Police behaved extremely well, accepted curfew passes and allowed people visiting hospitals, railway stations, bus stands or airports for emergency visits.
Authorities had yesterday declared at Civil Society meeting that identity cards of Medical staff and emergency services, journalists and wedding cards would be treated as curfew passes to avoid inconvenience to the people, who were ailing, performing their professional duties or had to make arrangements for marriages in the wedding season.
However, while Army, CRPF and Jammu Police followed the directions, the JKAP personnel even without waiting for the curfew passes or identity cards to be shown by the people, started beating up the people with lathis and hurled “communal abuses” on them.
One of the sufferers told the Excelsior that the JKAP men were not behaving like police personnel and it seemed that they had some grudge against the Jammu people. The people threatened to take to streets if the JKAP personnel were not removed from the City immediately saying their presence could lead to fresh trouble and clashes.
One of the valid curfew pass holders said the JKAP cops snatched his curfew pass and tore it off. Another citizen said the JKAP men threw the wedding card shown by him and snatched the goods he was taking to the venue of the marriage.
A newspaper hawker was beaten-up mercilessly at Residency Road by the JKAP men even though he possessed the curfew pass issued by the District Magistrate Jammu.
Number of organizations have condemned the attitude of the JKAP personnel and sought their immediate removal from the City if the administration wants restoration of peace.