Jammu turns violent again tens of thousands court arrest

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Jammu, Aug 19 (UNI) After a brief lull, Jammu again witnessed aggressive protests today while tens of thousands of people turned up to court arrest in the region on the second day of 'jail bharo andolan' on the Amarnath land row.

Dozens of people, including police personnel, were injured in clashes at various places in the winter capital city as a complete shutdown was observed on the consecutive 27th day.

At Jewel Chowk area, over a dozen people were injured in police-public clashes. The violence started after rumours of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah's presence at a government function at Abhinav Theatre where a Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and District Commissioner, Jammu were attending a cultural programme.

Thousands of people from the surrounding area marched towards the theatre, protesting against the authorities for organising cultural programme during unrest in Jammu.

After failing to stop the mob, police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) resorted to cane-charge and tear gas shelling while the protesters pelted stones and fired cracker rockets on the security forces.

Sub-divisional police officer (Jammu West) R K Chalotra, Dy SP, was shifted to the government medical college for treatment while several people were injured in the clashes, a UNI correspondent at the spot said.

Police-public clashes were also reported from several other places in the winter capital city and outskirt areas.

On the call of Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS), a conglomerate of several political and non-political outfits spearheading agitation for restoration of forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASD), tens of thousands of people turned up to court arrest.

''In Jammu city, more than 1.3 lakh people courted arrested in 14 police stations followed by around 60,000 in 11 police stations of Jammu (rural),'' an SAYSS member said.

''In Kathua district, more than 50,000 people courted arrest at 13 places while the reports from udhampur, reasi and ramban districts said more than 70,000 people participated in jail bharo andolan'' the SAYSS communique said.

UNI VJ BDP BST2041

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