Curfew re-imposed in Jammu, 2 killed in police firing at Samba

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Jammu, Aug 1 (UNI) Two people were killed while several injured in fresh police-public clashes as curfew was re-imposed in Jammu and Samba districts today following massive agitation fueled by the visit of National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah and People's Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti to meet Governor N N Vohra.

Two protesters were killed and 25 others injured in police firing on a mob at Samba this afternoon, reports said. The civil administration clamped curfew in the town.

On the request ofcivil administration the army has conducted a flag march in Samba, official sources said.

''Two critically injured protester, identified as Sunil Singh and Jugal Kishore, who were shifted to the GMC and Hospital Jammu succumbed,'' sources told UNI.

Dr Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who landed to attend an all party meeting at Raj Bhawan, were virtually held hostage by hundreds of protesters at Jammu airport.

''Both the leaders were shifted to Raj Bhawan under tight security cover after more than two hours delay at airport,'' a senior official said.

While the administration clamped curfew in the entire Jammu district, people defied restrictions to hold massive demonstration.

''An agitated mob went on rampage and set ablaze the Police Post at Panjtirthi. Protesters pelted stones and clashed with police outside the Raj Bhawan,'' a senior official said.

''Looking at the situation, we have imposed curfew in entire Jammu district,'' District Commissioner Mandeep K Bhandari said.

The situation is being closely monitored, he said.

According to reports, a large number of people also gathered at Ambphalla and pelted stones at the official residence of Ms Mehbooba. Police resorted to cane charge and air shots to disperse the mob. The clashes continued till late in the night.

Massive public demonstrations were also reported from the rural areas and villages of Kathua, Samba, Udhampur, Reasi, Rajouri and Jammu districts reports.

Meanwhile, the SAYSS, a conglomerate of 30 groups spearheading an agitation for allocation of land to the SASB, snapped the dialogue process with Governor N N Vohra to thaw the situation.

''Unless Mr Vohra sends us any solid proposal on the land transfer issue, it is useless to continue the dialogue process,'' SAYSS spokesperson Tilak Raj Sharma told reporters.

The SAYSS, however, decided not to hold second phase of talks as hundreds of protesters gathered at the residences of Mr Sharma and SAYSS convenor Leela Karan Sharma and appealed them to get the land restored to the SASB before dialogue.

The City of Temples has virtually turned into a cantonment with heavy deployment of security forces to stem protests against state government's decision of revoking diversion of 40 acres forest land in favour of the SASB.

Life was completely paralysed in the region on the ninth consecutive day today as educational institutions and business establishments remained closed in response to the ongoing Jammu bandh.

Besides, thousands of Jammu and Kashmir police personnel and troops of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in the city to ensure implementation of curfew.

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