Two killed in Indore: VHP-BJP bandh evokes mixed response

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New Delhi/Indore, Jul 3 (UNI) At least two people were killed in group clashes and curfew was clamped in four police station areas of Indore and stone pelting was reported from Thane during the nationwide dawn-to-dusk ''Bharat Bandh'' call given by the VHP and backed by the BJP over the Amarnath land allotment issue today.

The stir paralysed Kerala, Assam and Jammu.

The bandh called to protest the revocation of the land allotment to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) in Jammu and Kashmir evoked mixed to partial response throughout the country, reports from state capitals said.

At least two people were killed in group clashes and curfew clamped in four police station areas of Indore while normal life went out of gear in Madhya Pradesh during the 'Bharat bandh' In a related issue, a cloth merchant Hiralal Soni(28) immolated himself in Rampur town of Satna district after the bandh supporters beat up him severely following an altercation over the shop's closure. The trader, who was initially admitted to the district hospital with 90 per cent burns, was later shifted to a private hospital.

At Indore, group clashes between pro and anti-bandh supporters were reported at many places, leading to imposition of curfew in Chhatripura, Pandrinath, Khajarana and Malharganj police station areas. Few people were arrested.

In state capital Bhopal, shops and main markets remained closed.

Skeleton city bus services were maintained in the morning.

Government and corporate offices functioned as usual though educational institutions were kept closed.

More than 100 workers of Hindu outfits, who were enforcing bandh, were arrested in Jabalpur district of the state.

In Mumbai, the VHP activists staged 'Rasta Roko' at several places to protest the Jammu and Kashmir government's decision.

Supporting the bandh, scores of VHP activists were on the streets and held 'Chaka Jam' at several places, including Santacruz, Borivali and Dahisar areas in western suburb.

BJP's ally Shiv Sena has extended moral support to the bandh.

However, Thane police said incidents of stone pelting by VHP members were reported from various parts of the city.

Life in Jammu province came to a grinding halt with the entire region, including remote villages, observing complete shut down in support of the bandh.

Sources from Reasi, Udhampur, Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar, Samba and Kathua districts informed UNI that there was heavy response to the bandh call of VHP.

Even small markets, business establishments, shops and vehicular movement were closed in the remote areas of the districts to lodge protest against the government decision.

Besides Jammu city, the civil administration had imposed indefinite curfew in Bhaderwah and Samaba towns to check violent protest.

Emergency services staff, including health, fire and police, passengers heading towards railway station or airport and media people were allowed to move through the deserted city routes.

Baba Amarnath and Mata Vaishnodevi yatris were subjected to many problems due to curfew and strike in Jammu.

More UNI Team SB RN1711

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