Massive clashes erupted in Gujjar Nagar area of Jammu city today, as people belonging to Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Parishad took out a procession protesting against yesterday’s horrific attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama.
A call for Jammu Bandh on February 15 was given by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was supported by various social and religious organisations. As per the reports by a local daily, QNS, “more than 80 vehicles have been vandalised and eight vehicles have been set ablaze.” Meanwhile, 12 people have been injured in the clash. The protestors were carrying a tri colour as they rampaged through the area and torched vehicles on the road.
The incident has happened a day after the deadly attack on the CRPF convoy at Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, that has reportedly claimed 45 lives. Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Also Read: Kashmir: 49 CRPF Personnel Killed in IED Blast in Pulwama
Speaking with NewsClick, a local, requesting anonymity, said, “Nearly a dozen have been injured and more than dozen cars have been torched. The protestors marched through the Gujjar colony which is populated by mostly Muslims, including Kashmiris and others. While passing by, they upheld the Tiranga jhanda (Indian Flag) and raised slogans. Later we saw that two groups were pelting stones at each other.”
Meanwhile, curfew has been imposed in Jammu fearing communal backlash following the clashes, according to the Kashmir Observer.
Even as the decision of the protesters to take the procession through the Muslim dominated Gujjar Nagar is being questioned, the protesters have said that they were provoked to be violent. As per The Indian Express, “As clashes broke out in the area with both sides pelting stones at each other, senior police officers including IGP MK Sinha reached the spot.” The police lobbed tear gas and lathi charged to disperse the mob and quell the situation. Currently, the situation has been brought under control. Meanwhile, the bandh was successfully observed in Jammu with BJP president Ravinder Raina and sitting MP Jugal Kishore, among other, sitting on dharna to protest against the CRPF attack in Pulwama.
Another local, requesting anonymity, told NewsClick, “What happened yesterday was brutal and horrific and the state of Jammu and Kashmir will have to bear the repercussions of that. The entire state is in panic. Nothing will remain same from now. Jammu being close to Kashmir, cannot escape from the consequences. Also, Muslims will have a hard time as we can clearly see from today’s protest. In these times, I can’t tell you my name. It can prove very costly for me. Please understand.”