JAMMU: Protesters on Saturday clashed with police at several places in Jammu, prompting authorities to clamp prohibitory orders in the district where a bandh was observed for the second day over the demand for setting up AIIMS in the region.
“Police resorted to cane-charge and teargas shelling at four places to disperse the protesters. The situation is being brought under control. Three persons have been injured,” SP, Jammu, Rajiv Pandey said, adding that eight persons have been taken into custody.
Congress activists took out anti-government rallies and burnt effigies in Jammu city.Members of AIIMS Coordination Committee (ACC), which is spearheading the stir, also took out rallies in several parts of the city. As they reached Jewel, Indra Chowk and Kachi Chawani areas, police stopped them from moving towards the BJP headquarters, resulting in clashes. Police resorted to cane-charge and teargas shelling to disperse the protesters, who indulged in stone pelting.
“Eight people have been taken into custody,” Pandey said. ACC Chairman and Jammu Bar Association President, Abhinav Sharma, was allegedly assaulted by a policeman as he led a march in Gandhinagar area. As the violent protests spread to various areas of Jammu city, District Magistrate Simrandeep Singh on Saturday imposed restrictions on assembly of four or more people and all rallies in all the municipal limits of Jammu district under section 144 of CrPC.
“This applies to the municipal limits of Jammu city and peripheral tehsils also. Anyone violating shall be booked by police,” the DM said in an order.
The ACC on Friday went ahead with its three-day bandh in Jammu rejecting the Centre’s announcement for “AIIMS-like facilities” in the region. The shutdown paralysed normal life in the city for the second day on Saturday.
All business establishments, market places and shops remained closed and public transport remained off the roads. Protesters blocked the highway and various roads in the city by burning tyres.
Meanwhile, the state BJP is now facing internal bickering with calls for replacing some party ministers and quitting the alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir. “The party has failed to live up to the poll promises it had made to the people. We have already surrendered our stand on granting permanent residency to West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs), rehabilitation and return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley and abrogation of Article 370,” said a senior BJP leader.
“We had promised the people of Jammu that AIIMS would be announced for Jammu by July. However, instead of fulfilling our promise we made Union Health Minister J P Nadda to give a vague statement that AIIMS-like facilities would also be set up in Jammu,” the BJP leader said.