Jammu observes complete bandh

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Jammu, Jun 26 (UNI) Life was thrown out of gear in the city as the winter capital today observed total bandh amidst scattered protests against the revocation of transfer of 39.88 hectare forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

In a clear sign of how the row on land transfer issue is dividing the militancy-survived state on religious grounds, several political and religious parties of Jammu had called for a bandh against any move to revoke the land transfer as being demanded by political parties in Kashmir.

All the shops and business establishments remained closed and private transport vehicles off the roads in support of bandh call.

People joined by BJP, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal rallied at several places in the city to ensure complete bandh to lodge a counter-protest against the Hurriyat and other Kashmir-based political leaders.

They also burnt the effigies of PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Deputy Chief Minister M H Beig in city and outskirts.

The people at Udhampur also blocked jammu-Srinagar national highway for a while as entire district observed complete bandh, sources said.

Dust to dawn bandh was observed in districts Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar in protest against the ''raking up'' of the land transfer issue by the separatists and some Kashmir-based political leaders.

Similar reports were received from other towns of Jammu.

The tourists, including the Amarnath yatris and Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrims, experienced inconvenience due to the unavailability of passenger vehicles in the city.

At least four people were injured when two groups, swayed by the recent political issue of land transfer to the SASB, started pelting stones on each others at Malik Market in Narwal area this morning, sources said.

However, the mob was dispersed by the police immediately.

UNI VJ AKJ NS2003

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