Jammu, February 16:
The curfew in Jammu continued for the second day and the Army’s presence was stepped up on Saturday, a day after violent protests rocked the city over a suicide attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans in Kashmir. Nine more Army columns were deployed in the city, bringing the total to 18 columns, and the force staged flag marches in sensitive localities. Officials said the University of Jammu postponed all examinations scheduled for the day and mobile Internet services remained suspended across Jammu region. Srinagar-bound vehicles stranded on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway due to a landslide in Ramban were allowed to move forward amid tight security arrangements, they said.
“The curfew is being implemented strictly and there is no report of any untoward incident from anywhere,” Deputy Inspector General of Police, Jammu-Samba-Kathua range, Vivek Gupta told PTI. Deputy Commissioner (Jammu) Ramesh Kumar said authorities were monitoring the situation and a decision to relax the curfew, which was imposed Friday, would be taken later in the day. The Army was conducting flag marches in sensitive localities of the city on Saturday, the officials said. A defence spokesperson said the Army on Saturday deployed nine more security columns with air support to help the administration to maintain law and order in the entire city. Nine Internal Security Columns (ISCs) of the Army were deployed on Friday.
“Helicopters and UAVs of the Army also put into operation to monitor the situation. The proactive approach jointly taken by J&K Police, Civil administration (Divisional Commissioner and District Collector’s office) and Indian Army has ensured the situation in control,” the spokesman said. The city was rocked by anti-Pakistan protests during a general strike called by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI). People took to the streets to denounce the attack and also held candlelight rallies to pay homage to the jawans. Nine people, including some policemen, were injured in stone-pelting incidents on Friday and several vehicles were torched. The JCCI termed the violence “unfortunate” and said, “We shall not allow miscreants to disturb the brotherhood and peace in Jammu where all the religions have coexisted.” It said the bandh would not be extended.
Spokesperson of the Jammu university Vinay Thusoo said that all examinations, theory and practical, to be conducted on Saturday were postponed due to unavoidable circumstances. He said fresh dates would be notified later. Inspector General of Police (Jammu) M K Sinha appealed to the people not to play into the hands of anti-national elements who want to disturb the societal harmony. A police official said high-speed mobile data services were barred in Jammu region, while the BSNL broadband service was functioning normally.