First death in Jammu; protest continues despite curfew

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Jammu, Jul 6 (UNI) Protesters continued to take out rallies and fight pitched battles with police despite curfew as agitation for restoration of forest land to the SASB claimed the life of its first victim in the winter capital.

One person, who was critically injured during massive protests at Bhaderwah in Doda district on Wednesday, succumbed in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu, this evening.

''The injured Manjit Singh died in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at 1930 hrs. He could not survive even with the support of ventilator,'' GMCH Principal Dr Rajinder Singh told UNI.

Sensing that the death of injured, which was declared only in the late evening, could create further tension in the region, the hospital authorities conducted autopsy in the night, official sources confirmed.

Defying curfew restrictions, thousands of people took to streets to protest against the controversial decision of revoking the order of diverting forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

A large numbers protesters including women, gathered in Muthi, Bantbal, Mandal, Gangyal and Bari Brahmana areas of city outskirts and staged demonstration, sources said.

''A large demonstration, led by saffron activists, was attempting to enter into city limits from Jammu-Poonch state highway,'' a motorcyclist told UNI.

Similarly, reports said several protesters were injured when police resorted to baton charge in Gangyal area of Southren Jammu.

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