Jammu authorities to prevent people from courting arrest

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Jammu, Aug 20 : The district authorities in Jammu have decided not to allow people to court arrest on the third day of the 'jail bharo' programme of the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti, even as the entire Jammu city was placed under curfew from 5:00 a.m. following violent protests in various parts.

Night curfew was lifted on Monday, but with violent protests erupting again on Tuesday evening in the Canal Road, the Gandhinagar Police Station and Parade areas of old city over the Amarnath land dispute, the authorities clamped curfew again. Army has been called in to maintain law and order following fresh violence.

A mob of irate protesters clashed with police and paramilitary forces in the region, and attempted to attack a theater where a cultural programme was being held by the state Information Department. The police chased the protesters away as they pelted stones, injuring several people including police personnel.

Earlier, over 100,000 women courted arrest across the Jammu region as part of their second day of the 'jail bhari andolan' protest. At many places from Kathua to Jammu, the protestors forced their entry into police stations.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the Jammu and Kashmir Government of acting in a partisan manner.

"The State and the Central Government, both have acted in a partisan manner on Shri Amarnath issue. BJP demands that the land must be restored to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and the separatists should be hauled before law for challenging the sovereignty of the Indian republic," BJP president Rajnath Singh said.

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor M.K.Narayanan is undertaking a day-long visit today to take stock of the ongoing situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The region has been rocked by violent protests and demonstrations for over a month after the State Government ordered the transfer of forestland to Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SASS), the trust that runs Amarnath, a cave shrine visited by pilgrims.

Following controversy provoked by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Separatists the Government reversed its decision. This in turn, angered people of the Jammu region who attacked lorries carrying supplies to the Kashmir valley and often blocked the region''s highway, the only surface link with the rest of India.

ANI

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