'Stranded passengers shout pro-Pak slogans'

A police official said that while demonstrating against the government for its alleged failure to evacuate them to Srinagar, some “miscreants” shouted pro–Pakistan and pro-freedom slogans.

Stranded Kashmiri passengers and students of Gandhi Memorial Science College clashed on Monday after some passengers shouted pro-Pakistan slogans during an anti-government demonstration. 

Witnesses said that the passengers, stranded for the past six days due to closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway, had assembled near Mufti Sayeed Hostel adjoining the Geography department of the College, to register themselves for airlift to Srinagar.

A police official said that while demonstrating against the government for its alleged failure to evacuate them to Srinagar, some “miscreants” shouted pro–Pakistan and pro-freedom slogans.

The situation turned ugly when both sides shouted provocative slogans at each other, prompting the police to use baton charge in which six people were injured.

Deputy inspector general of police Vivek Gupta said, “Safety of guests (Kashmir bound passengers) and maintaining law and order is first priority. I am not able to tell more than this.” 

Additional deputy commissioner Rashpal Singh said that only one aircraft—carrying capacity 200 passengers—was flying the passengers to Srinagar. More than 2500 passengers are stranded in Jammu and have complained of rising prices of essentials and overcharging by hotels.

Singh said today’s disturbance delayed the process of airlifting, and the authorities had requested the passengers to keep calm so that the aircraft could carry out the maximum number of sorties.

The district administration started registration of passengers on Sunday. But the left out people demonstrated today.

After the clash, the administration shifted all Kashmir-bound passengers from Mufti Sayeed Hostel in six SRTC buses to some safer location.

The police have registered two separate cases into a scuffle between Kashmir-bound passengers and students of science college in the winter capital, a source said.

“Two separate cases under FIR numbers 14/2019 and 15 /2019 were registered at police station Nowabad, Jammu, over raising of anti-national slogans and indulging in violence (sic),” the source said.