JAMMU: Jammu observed a complete shutdown Saturday on a call given by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and supported by traders and the BJP to protest police action on protesters during the March 7 clashes in Rajouri town.
The March 7 Hindu-Muslim clashes, in which many people were injured including some policemen, forced authorities to impose curfew on Rajouri town, about 160 km northwest of Jammu.
The shutdown call in Jammu is supported by about a dozen traders' bodies and social organizations and also the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). All shops, business establishments were shut and thin attendance was reported in offices and educational institutions.
The state BJP chief Shamsher Singh Manhas told reporters: "The bandh is spontaneous and complete. We want peace to return to Rajouri and action taken against those responsible for beating Hindus and ransacking their houses."
A group of ministers along with senior civil and police officials are in Rajouri to tackle the situation.
Tension began in Rajouri last week following remarks of VHP leader Praveen Togadia on March 5, which were interpreted as "anti-Muslim" by the community leaders and they took out protest marches. Hindus took out counter protests on March 7. Matters worsened that evening when a local religious procession of Hindus was stoned, which led to clashes between the two communities.