TWO DIE IN POLICE FIRING IN JAMMU UNREST
Jammu August 4:
In a fresh flare up, two persons were killed and four received injuries when police opened fire to quell violence in Samba town on Monday as Jammu region continued to simmer over the Amarnath land row with protesters defying curfew at several places.
Curfew was relaxed for varying periods in Jammu and Samba distircts this morning while it remained strictly in force in rest of the region which is witnessing unrest since June-end over the land controversy. Violating curfew, protesters poured on to streets and tried to block traffic on the Jammu-Pathankot highway in Samba town this afternoon, police sources said.
When cane-charge and teargassing proved ineffective, police opened fire in which two protesters were killed and four suffered injuries, the sources said. Curfew was relaxed from 0500 to 0800 hrs in Jammu and from 0800 hrs to 1000 hrs in Samaba, officials said adding no untoward incident was reported from the two districts during lifting of the curfew.
Residents thronged marketplaces during the relaxation period to buy essential and other commodities, they said. After the curfew was re-imposed, army conducted flag marches in sensitive areas in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Doctors, nurses and other staff in government hospitals in the city took mass casual leave for a day on Monday to express their solidarity with the agitators.
Meanwhile, the Amarnath Sangrash Samiti, an amalgam of 35 political, religious and social outfits, extended the shutdown in Jammu city by another five days. The Samiti is demanding removal of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and immediate restoration of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board.
The Samiti also ruled out holding any dialogue with the Jammu and Kashmir government on resolving the lingering land row. Unless the Ghulam Nabi Azad government rescinded its order cancelling allotment of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board, no parleys could be held, it said.
In Kashmir valley, the general strike called by Hurriyat hardliners to express solidarity with Muslims in violence-hit Jammu region crippled normal life. All shops, businesses and educational institutions were shut in response to the call for strike issued by the hardline faction of the Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.