Over 30,000 protestors court arrest in Jammu

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Jammu, Aug 18 (UNI) Over 30,000 protestors courted arrest here today under the umbrella of Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS), a conglomerate of 40 political, social and religious organisations, spearheading the agitation demanding restoration of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

''Over 30,000 protestors, including women, courted arrest till noon (1200 hrs) in Jammu city and its outskirts as reports from the other districts are awaited,'' Narinder Singh, SAYSS official spokesperson told UNI.

Mr Singh said lakhs of people came out of their houses for court arrest demanding restoration of land to the Shrine Board. However, protestors carrying the tricolour and chanting 'Bam-Bam Bhole' gathered outside different police stations for court arrest, sources said.

''The localities under the jurisdiction of Gandhi Nagar, Trikuta Nagar, Satwari and City Police Station observed a massive rush of protestors, who had gathered outside for the court arrest,'' sources maintained.

''SAYSS convenor Leela Karan Sharma, senior BJP leader Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, Mayor Kavinder Gupta, Shiv Sena leader Anan Sharma, Praja Parishad president Chamnder Mohan Sharma among thousands of agitators were arrested by police,'' the sources said asserting, ''the figure is increasing but the police authorities have failed to accommodate the huge rush of protestors.'' Besides men, women will court arrest on Tuesday (August 19) followed by children on Wednesday (August 20). People however, today took out peaceful rallies at many places in various districts amid slogans against the state administration while no untoward incident took place.

Nine people have lost their lives so far in the ongoing agitation in Jammu. The Sangharsh Samiti, a conglomerate of 45 political, religious and social organisations, has extended the Jammu bandh till August 20.

The Samiti is demanding restoration of 100 acre forest land to the SASB at Baltal and removal of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra.

UNI VBH AKJ KN1520

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