‘120 booked for arson, violence in Jammu’

The police and divisional administration in Jammu Sunday said the situation in the region was “well under control” and that 120 people found involved in incidents of arson and “breaking peace” have been arrested so far.
‘120 booked for arson, violence in Jammu’
File Photo: Mir Imran/GK

The police and divisional administration in Jammu Sunday said the situation in the region was "well under control" and that 120 people found involved in incidents of arson and "breaking peace" have been arrested so far.  Following the Pulwama militant attack that left more than 40 central reserve police force (CRPF personnel dead, the Jammu district witnessed a series of incidents of violence, with members of a particular community alleging highhandedness and attacks by various groups of mobs, resulting in damage to at least 50 vehicles owned by Kashmiris. 

To contain the situation, the Jammu administration imposed curfew across the district on Friday.

A senior police officer said Jammu was peaceful "after some incidents of violence". "No untoward incident took place in the region on Sunday," additional director general of police (law and order/security), Munir Khan, said. 

Asked whether action would be taken against those found involved in violence, he said: "After every incident of arson, cases are registered. Action will certainly follow against miscreants."

Divisional commissioner Jammu SanjeevVerma said curfew was imposed "in the interest of people of all the communities". "So far Jammu is peaceful and I hope the region will maintain communal harmony and brotherhood," he told Greater Kashmir. 

Asked whether the divisional administration was planning to lift curfew on Monday, he said: "We will review the situation on Monday morning and accordingly take a call". About possible action against those involved in arson and torching of vehicles and trucks of Kashmiris, the divisional commissioner said 120 people have been arrested in the past two days. 

"90 people were arrested until Saturday evening and others were arrested thereafter. Action will be taken against anyone found involved in any incident of arson and damaging of property of people of any community," he said.

The divisional administration, he said, will pay adequate compensation to those whose vehicles were torched and people whose residences suffered any damage in mob attacks since Friday. 

"I request owners of such vehicles to approach my office along with documents in original so that their compensation is finalised on fast-track basis," Verma said. 

He said 50 vehicles including some trucks have been damaged in violent incidents. "No Kashmiri is forced to leave Jammu. People from Kashmir have been travelling to Srinagar from Jammu by choice, and not by force. Even in such a scenario, we will provide them the transport facility," the divisional commissioner assured. Meanwhile, scores of Kashmiri truckers and drivers of passenger vehicles who reached Srinagar early Sunday morning alleged that they faced irate mobs at Udhampur and Samba areas while they were on their way to Srinagar.

"Some people hurled stones at our vehicles at Udhampur and Samba, causing damage to the windowpanes," said Abdur Rashid, who drove his 'Tavera' vehicle from Jammu to Srinagar. 

Muhammad Sidiq Ronga, president, goods and transport companies association Kashmir said Kashmiri drivers especially truckers who have a national permit are facing a life threat during their travel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.  "We provide Jammu-based drivers with food and also help them with shelter and clothing when in need, but on the contrary, our drivers are beaten up, and their vehicles damaged at Udhampur and Samba," Ronga said, and urged the governor's administration to "reign in" forces targeting innocent Kashmiris.

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