A Day After Pulwama Attack, Protests & Curfew Grip Parts of Jammu
“We want ‘anti-national elements’ to leave Jammu,” said BS Slathia, head of Jammu Bar Association.
Massive anti-Pakistan protests rocked the Jammu city – in places like Jewel Chowk, Purani Mundi, Rehari, Shaktinagar, Pacca Danga, Janipur, Gandhinagar and Bakshinagar – on Friday, 15 February, in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.
Authorities imposed a curfew in Jammu after mobs protesting against the terrorist strike in the Kashmir Valley turned violent, torching some vehicles and damaging several others.
District Magistrate Ramesh Kumar said the curfew had been clamped to maintain law and order.
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Police said the violence began in the city's Gujjar Nagar area.
Police used tear smoke and batons to bring the situation under control, after which the curfew was imposed, initially in Gujjar Nagar, Talab Khatikan, Janipur, Bakshi Nagar, Chenni Heemat, Bus Stand and some other places in the old city area, and later extended to entire Jammu.
Tension spread to other "sensitive areas" of the city as news about the violence in Gujjar Nagar spread.
"People are advised to maintain calm and not play into the hands of anti-social elements who want to exploit the situation for their nefarious objectives," a police officer said.
Protesting the Pulwama attack, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Jammu, suspended work in all the courts in the city, including the high court and tribunals.
BS Slathia, who is head of Jammu Bar Association, told The Quint that they joined the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry's protest.
"We want 'anti-national elements to leave Jammu' in light of the Pulwama terror attack. We want them to be wiped out of Jammu province," he said.
"The suspension of work by the association is a mark of respect to the CRPF jawans killed in the Pulwama attack and to express our solidarity and sympathy with the bereaved families," said J&K High Court Bar Association Jammu President BS Slathia.
Raising anti-Pakistan, anti-terrorists slogans, protesters burnt tyres on many roads. The agitators, mostly youth, put up barricades on roads in demand of revenge.
Led by the Bajrang Dal, the Shiv Sena and the Dogra front, people took out candlelight marches in the city and held anti-Pakistan protests.
The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) had on Thursday called for shut down in Jammu protesting terror attack.
This decision was taken by JCCI President Rakesh Gupta along with his office bearers and presidents of different affiliated associations, including transport operators associations.
‘People Are Angry, in Immense Pain’
One of the areas these protestors passed through was Jammu's Purani Mandi. The president of Purani Mandi market, Vimal Gupta, who was present at the spot, told The Quint, "The protests were carried out in favour of the martyred CRPF men. When there are as many casualties, resentment is bound to flow. People are angry and in immense pain, so of course, this means that some harm is bound to happen. That is why the vehicles were burnt. This is a Jammu Vs Kashmir issue. What was organised was a nationalist procession where you would see a tiranga being waved everywhere."
Curfew Grips Jammu City
Curfew was imposed in Jammu on Friday as a precautionary measure following massive protests and stray incidents of violence over the terror attack in Pulwama.
The Army has been requested to help the administration in maintaining law and order and conduct flag marches, they said.
Curfew was imposed as authorities feared a communal backlash, officials said.
Protesters, particularly in the old city, refused to disperse even after loudspeakers announced that curfew was imposed.
"We have imposed curfew in Jammu city as a precautionary measure," Deputy Commissioner of Jammu Ramesh Kumar said.
According to officials, there was complete bandh in Jammu city and there was no traffic on roads and all shops and markets were closed.
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