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Jammu tense as Sikhs stage protests defying prohibitory orders

Sikhs protest in Delhi

Jammu: Defying prohibitory orders, Sikh youths took to streets for the third day today as protests spread over removal of posters of Khalistan militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a day after a youth was killed and seven injured in clashes with police over the row.

Authorities clamped Section 144 of CrPC, which bars gathering of more than four persons at a place, in the entire Jammu district and curfew like situation prevailed in violence-hit areas of Satwari-Ranibagh-Gadigarh-R S Pura beltĀ  and elsewhere.

Groups of Sikhs blocked the Jammu-Pathakote highway and burnt tyres. Protests were held at Digiana belt and people raised slogans against the police and the government. Similar protests were held in Poonch, Kathua and Rajouri areas.

Streets wore a deserted look in Jammu city today and business establishments remained closed. Mobile and internet services were also suspended in Jammu. Schools and colleges in several districts of the region were closed.

Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in strength in sensitive areas of Jammu city.

The situation “is tense but under control” in Jammu city, police said.

Army late last night staged flag march in parts of Jammu following violent clashes.

“Army carried out flag march in the violence hit belt on road from R S Pura to Satwari due to the prevailing situation,” PRO Defence Lt Col Manish Mehta said.

He said that the district administration had requisitioned the Army to instill confidence in the people.

A youth, Jagjit Singh, was killed yesterday and seven others including three policemen were injured in a clash between police and a large group of Sikhs youth who blocked roads here against removal of a poster with a picture of late militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

The condition of the three policemne has been described as critical by doctors, police said here.

The incident sparked off more protests in the region despite appeals for peace by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and his deputy Nirmal Singh.

Singh today voiced confidence that things will be controlled “within a short span of time” and said talks were being held with community leaders.

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