Curfew continues, more troops deployed

People head towards their destinations on foot in curfew bound Jammu City on Saturday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
People head towards their destinations on foot in curfew bound Jammu City on Saturday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Bandh in 5 districts for 2nd day, no traffic on NHs
Trouble in some areas, cops detain 90

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Feb 16: Curfew continued for second consecutive day today in the entire Jammu City, where Army strengthened its positions further with deployment in more areas and conducting flag march to maintain law and order while bandh was observed in Udhampur, Reasi, Samba and Kathua districts and parts of Jammu district, where there were no curfew restrictions as people on Jammu-Pathankot National Highway tried to disrupt the train traffic in protest against martyrdom of 44 CRPF jawans in Pulwama on Thursday.
Situation in entire Jammu region remained peaceful barring stray incidents of stone pelting at Janipura, Nai Basti, Domana and Ban Talab in Jammu, where police used teargas and lathicharge to disperse the mob but traffic on Jammu-Pathankot and Jammu-Srinagar National Highways and all other major roads like Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch remained suspended for second day today in protest against the terror attack.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said entire Jammu region remained peaceful during the day today except a minor issue at Janipura.

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“Some Kashmiri people came by train today. Police facilitated their shifting and lodgment at Bathindi. Movement of some stranded Kashmiri people to Srinagar is also being arranged,” Dilbag said, adding he had taken up the matter with DGP Uttarakhand to take care of security of students from Kashmir.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu Zone, MK Sinha told the Excelsior that 90 persons were today taken into preventive custody across Jammu region. However, no substantive arrests have been made so far as police was busy in tackling the situation and maintain law and order.
Sinha said situation was peaceful in entire Jammu region barring incidents of stone pelting at Janipura, Nai Basti, Domana and Bantalab, where police, Army and para-military personnel immediately reacted and dispersed the mob.
Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar said curfew remained in force in entire Jammu City for second consecutive day today.
“No relaxation was given in curfew in any part of the City today. Security situation will be reviewed at 8 am tomorrow to take decision on relaxation in curfew,” Kumar said.
Reports said that Army today further increased its presence in the Jammu City with deployment of 18 Internal Security Columns from Tiger Division and was joined by air support from Nagrota Corps. Deployment of Army has been strengthened in Gujjar Nagar, Janipura Colony, Shahidi Chowk, Talab Khatika, Sidhra and other sensitive areas, where they staged flag marches to maintain peace.
“Helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of Army were also put into operation to monitor the situation. Proactive approach by Jammu Police, civil administration and Army ensured that the situation remained under control,” a Defence spokesman said.
Trouble erupted at Janipura Colony when youth protested outside the Government quarters, housing Civil Secretariat employees, who shouted “provocative slogans”. Youth pelted stones at the quarters and some of the employees also retaliated from inside with stones.
There was massive sloganeering from both the sides, reports said, adding that while protesters were raising pro-India and anti-Pakistan slogans, the Civil Secretariat staff raised highly provocative slogans.
Army, CRPF and police in strength rushed to the spot and resorted to lathicharge and teargas to disperse the mob. Protesters lamented that police took action against the youth, who were raising nationalist slogans and shielded the employees, who indulged in pro-Pakistan sloganeering.
Exchange of slogans and stone pelting continued till late this evening at Janipura before the situation was brought under control.
Similar situation erupted at Nai Basti Government quarters in Gandhi Nagar area but it was defused immediately. At Bantalab and Domana, mob tried to march towards some localities in processions, where there were reports of provocative slogans. However, police intervened and dispersed the mob.
Situation was later brought under control at all the places.
Some protesters were detained at all the four places, reports said.
“Rest of the Jammu City, where curfew was imposed yesterday afternoon following incidents of arson at Gujjar Nagar, Residency Road and some other areas, remained normal today with police, para-military and even Army, at some places, patrolling the streets,” sources said, adding that curfew was being strictly enforced.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma convened a meeting of citizens this evening and sought cooperation of all communities in maintaining peace and normalcy in Jammu. The Civil Society members raised their issues and were unanimous on maintaining peace in the region.
Some of the Civil Society members blamed youth from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rohingyas, who have settled here and were running `rehris’, for indulging in provocative activities.
Mobile internet services, which were suspended on Thursday night after martyrdom of 44 CRPF jawans, remained shut for third day. The internet services will remain snapped till normalcy is completely restored, sources said.
People in Kathua marched towards railway track and tried to disrupt train services on Jammu-Pathankot section. They managed to enter one bogey of Tata Nagar-Jamshedpur train and shouted anti-Pakistan slogans. However, police chased away the mob and didn’t allow any disruption in train traffic.
All kind of traffic on Jammu-Srinagar and Jammu-Pathankot National Highways and Jammu-Poonch road via Akhnoor and Rajouri also remained suspended for second day today. Few private vehicles only could be seen moving on these highways and roads.
There was no traffic on other roads even where there were no curfew restrictions.
While Jammu City reeled under curfew for second day today, all other towns and even rural areas of the district also observed bandh for most parts of the day to express solidarity with families of martyrs. Traffic also remained off the roads in the rural areas as commercial vehicles didn’t move out of the Bus Stands. Private vehicles, however, plied normally in the areas, where there was no curfew but generally people remained confined to their houses.
In view of curfew restrictions and suspension of vehicular movement, pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine and other religious places and train and air travelers had to face tough time in reaching Railway Station, Bus Stand and Airport. Many pilgrims and other people alleged that they were harassed by Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police (JKAP) personnel of Kashmir. They also complained about the JKAP to civil and police administration.
Most parts of Samba and Kathua districts observed complete bandh for second consecutive day today with people holding protest demonstrations and burning tyres against the martyrdom of 44 CRPF personnel in Pulwama. Apart from Samba and Kathua towns, bandh was also observed at tehsil headquarters, towns and even villages.
Resentment among the people against martyrdom of the CRPF jawans could be well gauged from the fact that even in remote villages, shopkeepers kept their shutters down and there was no movement of traffic barring some two-wheelers for second consecutive day today.
However, after day’s bandh yesterday, life returned to normal in Rajouri, Poonch, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar districts.
Udhampur and Reasi districts too observed bandh for second consecutive day today.
Shutdown was completed in Udhampur, Panchari, Chenani and other remote areas of Udhampur district while in Reasi, bandh was observed at Reasi town, Katra, Talwara, Jyotipuram, Arnas, Dharmari and Maslot. People in almost all the areas of these districts also took out massive protest demonstrations denouncing the martyrdom of the CRPF jawans.