Kathua town observes total bandh

A market in Kathua wearing deserted look as town observed total bandh on Saturday. —Excelsior/Pardeep
A market in Kathua wearing deserted look as town observed total bandh on Saturday. —Excelsior/Pardeep

Avtar Bhat
KATHUA, Mar 3: Kathua township observed a peaceful bandh today in support of the demands of Rassana people with shops and other business establishments remaining closed while traffic was off the roads in the town.
The bandh call was given by the civil society of Kathua yesterday in support of Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM) which is spearheading the agitation demanding handing over of the murder case of minor girl whose body was found in Rassana forests on January 17 to CBI for an impartial probe.
The work in the courts remained paralyzed as the Kathua Bar also supported the bandh while the Young Bar Association took out a procession in the town condemning the atrocities committed on the innocent people of Rassana by police and demanded CBI probe into the killing of minor Gujjar girl to unravel the facts about the same.
The support to bandh was spontaneous and people voluntarily kept their shops and business establishments closed. However, the transport on Jammu-Pathankot National Highway plied normally. Besides, the schools, banks and other Government offices functioned normally in the town.
To avert any untoward incident, the authorities had made a heavy deployment of police in every market and Chowks of the town.
The procession started from District Court Complex to Mukherjee Chowk and the lawyers were raising slogans in support of the demand.
Anil Singh Andotra, president Young Bar Association, Kathua and Rakesh Thakur, general secretary, addressed the gathering. They criticized the role of police and alleged that the investigation of the murder was not done as per the law of the land.
They further alleged that a particular community was targeted without any proof.
They said that the people want that the culprit be arrested and they will extend full support to administration in this regard.

Click here to Watch Video
Addressing the gathering the leader of Hindu Ekta Manch Advocate, Vijay Sharma said that his organization will not budge an inch from the demand of CBI probe into the matter. He said the BJP Ministers should fulfill their promise made with the people two days back that they will take up the issue with Chief Minster, Mehbooba Mufti.
Sharma said that they will give two days time to the BJP leadership in this regard and “on March 5 we will decide the future course of action in this regard”.
He said the people of Samba district have also approached them and extended full support. He said the girl will get justice after the real culprits are punished and hence no one should have hesitation in CBI probe. He said the culprits who soever they may be, should be punished and this is the only reason that they demand CBI probe.
He said “the HEM leadership is holding meetings and today we visited border belt also to garner support for our movement”. But the future course of action will only be decided two day later.  We will wait up to day after tomorrow for Ministers’ assurance.
He said the injustice in this murder case should end and all political parties should come together to take the present agitation to logical conclusion. The people of Hiranagar, Ding Amb and Mareen have also approached them  to give the bandh call in their respective areas in support of HEM agitation, he added.
Kant Kumar, ex -Sarpanch Rassana and member of HEM said BJP and Congress, the two main political parties, should come forward in extending full support to the agitating people so that the real culprits are punished. They should work to eradicate discrimination which the people of this region are facing otherwise they would have to repent in future. The people are watching the role of the leadership of these parties and the Ministers should fulfill their promise made on March 1 at Hiranagar, he added.