SRINAGAR: Curfew was clamped in Jammu town on Friday following incidents of violence and rioting in response to the fidayeen attack in Pulwama on Thursday, which claimed the lives of at least 40 CRPF jawans.
The city was rocked by protests with people, mainly youngsters, rallying — first randomly and then with purpose — waving Tricolours and blockading a few areas.
District magistrate Ramesh Kumar imposed curfew in the entire Jammu city comprising all 75 wards as a precautionary measure and asked the Army to conduct flag marches and help the administration in maintaining law and order.
The move came soon after stray attacks on homes of a particular community were reported. The administration, having assessed the situation quickly, imposed a curfew as there were reports of vehicles being burnt and attempts being made to burn down some establishments. Police moved with alacrity to control the situation.
Officials clarified that the decision to clamp curfew was taken since there was a serious threat of a communal backlash in the wake of the killings of the jawans.
However, sporadic protests continued in the old city areas, despite the administration clamping Sec tion144 of the CrPC, banning congregation of people. In areas, protestors refused to disperse, despite announcements of curfew being imposed.
“What seemed like mild protests at first started turning into larger congregations as people started blockading roads and engaging in violence and arson in several areas. Sensing the mood, shopkeepers shut the small vends that were still open. Traffic largely remained off roads and shops were closed,” said a police officer.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and urged him to ensure the security of Kashmiris residing in various parts of India.