Jammu witnesses sporadic violence, mass rally tomorrow

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Jammu, Aug 26 (UNI) The winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, entering the 35th day of complete shutdown, today witnessed sporadic incidents of violence as protestors clashed with the security forces in the city and its outskirts.

The Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS) is all set to organise a mass protest rally here tomorrow in which thousands of people from the city and remote areas of different districts are likely to participate to lodge their protest against the administration for delaying the restoration of land to the Shrine Board, sources here said.

''Police resorted to lathicharge and fired teargas shells this afternoon to control the protesters in Digiana,'' sources told UNI, adding, ''the agitators also clashed with the security forces in Purani Mandi area in the heart of the city, forcing police to use teargas shells to disperse them.'' The protesters, however, threatened to carry out more violent agitations if the administration tried to stop them from participating in the rally at Parade Ground called by the Sangharsh Samiti, a conglomerate of 45 religious, social and political organisations, spearheading the movement demanding restoration of 40 hectares of land at Baltal back to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, sources maintained.

''We have appealed to the administration and the Central Government to refrain from interfering in our protests and not to stop us from attending a massive protest rally tomorrow evening. If they do so, the agitation will turn more aggressive,'' a SAYSS protestor said.

The district administration, meanwhile, lifted the curfew in Kathua town today, a day after it was imposed following incidents of violence and subsequent clashes between police and demonstrators.

The City of Temples and its outskirt area, however, observed complete a ''shutdown'' for consecutive 35 days as the agitation entered into the 56th day paralysing normal life.


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