AMARNATH ROW: LAKHS COURT ARREST...
AMARNATH ROW: LAKHS COURT ARREST IN JAMMU
Jammu August 20:
Nearly two lakh people, including thousands of women, today thronged various police stations here and courted arrests demanding restoration of land to the Amarnath shrine board even as curfew was relaxed for varying periods in Jammu, Samba, Udhampur and Kishtwar districts.
Official sources said the protesters held demonstrations within and outside police stations and posts, raising slogans like "bum bum bolay" and "ek do teen char, bolay teri jai jai kar" from 11 am to 3 pm.
Leaders of the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarash Samiti (SAYSS), spearheading the agitation, claimed over 3.5 lakh people courted arrests in 10 districts of Jammu province.Of these, thirty percent were women, they said. The protesters also disrupted an official cultural function organised by the administration at Abhinav Theater here this evening.
Rapid Action Force jawans, however, swung into action and dispersed them by resorting to baton charge and teargas shelling. Later the function was called off. The protesters also burnt copies of a local daily at several places in the city allegedly for giving more coverage to happenings in Kashmir in comparison to Jammu region.
Curfew was relaxed in Jammu city for 15 hours from 5 am, while it was eased for nine hours in Samba. In Udhampur, authorities relaxed curfew for 17 hours from 5 am while in Kishtwar, it was eased for three hours from 7 am.
Meanwhile, SAYSS convenor Leela Karan Sharma has said the ball is in the Centre's court to put an end to the controversy. "If the Centre is not interested, we too do not have a time frame and the agitation will continue," he said.