Jammu, Feb 15: Curfew was imposed in multiple areas of Jammu on Friday following violent protests against the killing of 49 CRPF troopers in a militant attack in Kashmir yesterday.
Reports said that administration imposed curfew to maintain law and order in Gujjar Nagar, Nawabad, Bakshi Nagar, Pir Mitha, Paca Danga, Channi Himat, Janipora and Bagh-e-Bahu.
Reports and witnesses said that a mob torched and damaged many vehicles during the violent protests which broke out on Friday morning amid a shutdown called by Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Bar Association Jammu had supported the strike call issued against the killing of CRPF troopers in a major attack in Lethpora area of Awantipora in south Kashmir.
An eye witness said that motorcycle-borne youth carrying tricolour pelted stones on the vehicles and residential houses, and also set dozens of vehicles ablaze in Prem Nagar locality. The vehicles were parked in the premises of Jammu Development Authority.
Eyewitnesses said that a mob was gathered in the area despite the authorities announcing curfew in the area. Reports said that tension prevailed at Rehari, Gujjar Nagar, Jewel Chowk, Purani Mandi, Janipora and Gandhi Nagar areas.
An official said that a large contingent of the forces has been deployed in the area to control the situation.
Mobile Internet services have been suspended in Jammu as a precautionary measure to avoid law and order situation.
Meanwhile Police and politicians appealed for calm. IGP Jammu asked people to maintain calm and don’t fall prey to elements inimical to peace.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted stating that it will be a travesty and against the spirit of our secular ethno-cultural values to use this terror attack as an excuse to target minorities. Hour of the need is to show compassion and come together.
She added that: “Distressed to hear about miscreants in Jammu trying to take advantage of the situation by inciting tension. Guv adm should have preempted this by securing minority dominated areas. Have spoken to IG Jammu to deploy additional security.”
Former IAS officer Shah Faesal said that it is the time to call for revenge. “My sincere appeal to brothers from Jammu to maintain calm. This is not the time to call for revenge. This is not the time to fuel hatred against each other. Let’s not allow our humanity to be snatched from us. Let’s stay united,” he said.
Former Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that: “Giving vent to anger by attacking innocent people because of their ethnicity or religion is no way to honour the sacrifices yesterday. Reports of violence & arson in #Jammu are deeply worrying. I hope political leaders & civil society are able to ensure cooler heads prevail. Kashmiris/Muslims in Jammu didn’t attack our CRPF jawans yesterday, terrorists did. This violence is a convenient tool by some to shift the blame. Let’s unite against terror let’s not allow terror to divide us. If the security forces & the administration’s attention is shifted to dealing with communal violence in #Jammu instead of investigating yesterday’s attack & preventing further attacks who are we helping with the arson & violence?