Jammu, Jul 11: Jammu today observed complete shutdown in protest against Anantnag attack in which seven pilgrims were killed and 14 others including three policemen got injured while protests were staged here amid anti-government slogans.
Due to Jammu bandh in protest against the Anantnag attack, schools witnessed thin attendance while no commercial vehicle plied on the roads.
Meanwhile Kathua to observe shutdown tomorrow while the district administration have also ordered closure of all the schools in the district tomorrow.
Government officials also witnessed partial presence of the employees while commuters faced hardships especially the Vaishno Devi pilgrims faced hardships due to non-availability of transportation.
However, to protest the killings, the bordering Kathua district will also observe bandh tomorrow.
Meanwhile shouting anti-government slogans, activists of National Conference, Congress, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Team Jammu took out protest rallies in the winter capital.
Addressing the protestors Chairman Team Jammu Zorawar Jamwal rued the government for its failure in providing security to the Amarnath pilgrims.
He however, lambasted the “double speak” of the authorities and passing on bucks to each other, asserting, ”it was totally a security failure and require a thorough probe.”
“We wonder that the Kashmir police chief had said that the bus attacked by the terrorists was not a part of the convoy and registered with the Shrine Board but simultaneously, the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in her statement cleared the dust by saying the vehicle developed some technical snag due to which it left the convoy,” alleged the Team Jammu Chairman.
He however, said that no matters that the bus was a part of the convoy or not but safety of the visitors to the Valley is government’s priority.
Demonstration of Team Jammu activists passed through different bazaars of the walled city amid shouting of anti-government and anti-Pakistan slogans.
Activists also urged shopkeepers to down their shutters against gruesome killing of Amarnath Yatries by the Islamic terrorists.
Jamwal said that attack on Amarnath Yatries has exposed the so-called security arrangements made by the Centre as well as State Government for this year’s Yatra.
He said that biggest terror attack on Yatra was executed by terrorists in the year 2000.
“For the last 17 years no such incident has been taken place. This year terrorists managed to target Yatra due to pro-militant policies being adopted by the PDP-BJP government in the State”, he said and pointed out that due to political reasons BJP has given its consent to shift security forces, especially Army from the hinter land South Kashmir and after systemic shifting of the Army, terrorists have managed to gain ground in South Kashmir”.
Jamwal said that PDP-BJP government in J&K has become biggest security threat because BJP has compromised with the security and integrity of the nation just for power. He pointed out that during the last two and half years, many steps have been taken by the government to encourage anti-national forces.
Condemning the brutal terror attack Panther Party activists spearheaded by Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP and Yash Paul Kundal State President Young Panthers staged a vociferous protest demonstration at Dogra Chowk Jammu.
The infuriated protestors amid raising anti- BJP and ant-Govt slogans took out a appeal march in the heart of Jammu city urging shopkeepers, traders, businessmen, youth and people at large to observe a complete day long ‘Jammu Bandh’ called by the party in solidarity with the deceased yatris and their bereaved families.
They further raised slogans seeking dismissal of BJP-PDP Govt in the state.
Peeved over the deteriorating situation in J&K due to BJP-PDP coalition’s surrender to the dictates of secessionists in Kashmir, Harsh Dev Singh said that there were no signs of government on the ground in the State and the coward act of the militants killing 7 innocent yatris which included 5 women had exposed the communal character of the secessionist forces and subversives operating in Kashmir.
He regretted that the anarchy had led to civil unrest, clashes, shut downs, public attacks on police stations, lynching and killing of police personnel, assault on security forces, death and destruction, sympathy with the families of militants and stone pelters in Kashmir, etc.
Deploring further, the State Human Rights Commission directing the J&K Govt to pay compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to the ring leader of stone pelters Farooq Dar, he said that such kind of incentives would further embolden the miscreants and anti- nationals to go berserk in causing death and destruction all across the valley.
Lambasting the State government and BJP in particular for appeasing and placating the secessionists of the valley, he said that situation in the valley had worsened to such an extent that the stone pelters and anti- nationals openly dared to assault and manhandle the Para-military personnel on duty in full public view.
Yash Paul Kundal while accusing the State government of failure to control the lawlessness in the State he said that the attack on yatris should be condemned at every forum and the miscreants should be identified and booked under the law at the earliest.
He said that since the assurances of ‘Achey Din’ and ‘Healing touch’ have fallen flat, the government must go in the interest of the people, the State and the country.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee also held a protest demonstration over the militant attack and the utter failure of the PDP-BJP Govt. in the State and Central government, to contain militancy and ensure incident free Yatra, and demanded resignation of the Mufti Government immediately.
A large number of demonstrators including senior functionaries of PCC, DCC and Block committees and youth congress marched through main bazaars of Old City carrying effigies and raising slogans against Pakistan-“Mother of terrorism” and the PDP-BJP government in the State and the centre government for the failure to ensure safety of yatries despite tall claims of fool proof security and demanded that State government of PDP-BJP should resign for its utter failure to tackle terrorism.
Led by senior PCC leaders, the congress workers started their protest demonstration from PCC HQ Shaheedi Chowk Jammu and marched through various parts of the city, passing through Residency Road, Raghunath Chowk, Raghunath Bazar, City Chowk, Kanak Mandi, Rajinder Bazar and culminated at Shaheedi Chowk.
The demonstrators burnt the effigies of Pakistan at city chowk, describing that country as mother of terrorism and raised slogans demanding resignation of PDP-BJP government in the State.
Sham Lal Sharma Sr vice- President lashed out at the State and Centre government for its utter failure to check the militant attack inspite of serious threats and inputs from various intelligence agencies of such a possible attack on yatra which was already target of militants designs.
But both State and Centre government failed to ensure incident free Yatra.
“Now the State government is trying to escape responsibilities by claiming that the bus was not part of the yatra caravan. It is very unfortunate and government can’t escape the responsibility by such tactics and it is failure of the government which should immediately step down, to bring the situation under control and ensure smooth conduct of Yatra,” he said.
National Conference called for putting up a brave and united fight against terrorism, saying the end to this scourge is imperative for lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the country.
National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana who was leading the NC rank and file in a Sit in Dharna on Residency road here in support of the Jammu Bandh and to protest against the innocent killings of the Amarnath Yatris, unequivocally condemned the attack and said that terrorism has no place in a civilized society.
“A terrorist has no religion; a terrorist is a terrorist and must be treated as a terrorist”, he said and appealed all to together fight and defeat terrorism.
He said it is a nefarious design to vitiate the secular fabric of the state and we all must unitedly work to thwart this conspiracy against the idea of Jammu and Kashmir and the idea of India.
Describing Shri Amarnath Yatra as perhaps the only unique pilgrimage across the world which is being performed by one community and facilitated by the another community.
“The Yatra is a shining symbol of Kashmiriyat and the valley’s pluralistic ethos that has withstood test of times”, Rana said while exuding confidence that terrorists cannot succeed in breaking the core of Kashmir ethos by such dastardly acts.
He said the people of the state and the country will see through the nefarious game plan and remain vigilant against their mechanizations.
“The tragedy is gruesome, barbaric and inhuman”, Rana said and vowed to foil the machinations of terrorists to disturb communal harmony and tranquility that has been biggest eyesore for the enemy.
He said the dastardly act will not deter the peace-loving people of the State to meet the biggest ever challenge to humanity with courage, fortitude and resilience. He said Jammu and Kashmir is bleeding profusely and the brutal acts of terror have only strengthened their resolve to combat the menace resolutely. He lauded the unbreakable spirit of the people in maintaining peace, much to the discomfort of peace-breakers who are hell bend to flare up disharmony between various segments of the composite society, and demanded stern action against the perpetrators of the heinous attack that snatched lives of the seven innocent pilgrims.
Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Jammu immediately took cognizance of the matter and as a mark of protest decided to suspend the work in all Courts including Tribunals and appealed to all the members of the legal fraternity for suspension of work in respective Courts.
The work in all the Courts throughout the Jammu Province remained suspended to express solidarity with the victims of terrorism and reiterate commitment to the nation.
The members staged protest in and outside the Court Complex against the killings of innocent Amarnath Yatris and took out a procession led by Prem Sadotra General Secretary from Court Complex to Main Janipur Road and held another massive demonstration in Janipur – Ambhphalla Road.
The delegation of J&K High Court Bar Association, Jammu headed by Sachin Gupta, Vice President also participated in the meeting of civil society called by Divisional Commissioner at Guest House, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu.
The members of the Bar lodged a strong protest against the failure of the administration to secure the precious lives of the Amarnath Yatris belonging to different parts of the Country.
The J&K High Court Bar Association declared that it could go to any extent and go to Kashmir to fight the anti national forces and protect and advance the country’s paramount national interest. We will not allow third partition of India on religious grounds, the association said.
The J&K High Court Bar Association, Jammu demanded Rs. 25 lacs ex-gratia payment to each of the kin of martyred Yatris and Rs. 10 lacs each to those who were injured during the reign of orgy of death unleashed by terrorists. .
Condemning the dastardly brutal terror attack Jammu Province Peoples’ Forum (JPPF) urged the Centre to react strongly against the anti-national elements hell bent to destabilize the social fabric, sovereignty and integrity of the country.
Addressing the members, President JPPF, Pavitar Singh Bhardwaj said that the JPPF is already observing Jammu Bandh today in protest against the evil designs of the anti-national forces who had already issued warnings to disrupt Yatra by killing Yatris and the members of security forces.
“Although Centre had deployed sufficient security cover yet their strike should open the eyes,” he said it is high time that the anti-national elements including separatists are charged with the murder of the innocent Yatris whose security is the responsibility of the State and the Centre.
Later all the JPP members and activists took out a protest rally on Tawi Bridge which after passing through Bikram Chowk culminated at protest venue.
Two minutes salience was observed with prayer to Almighty to bestow peace to the departed souls.
Former Minister and Senior Congress Leader, R S Chib also expressed shock and condemned the Terrorist Attack and described it most barbaric, cowardly and heinous act, against the innocent human beings.
This speaks, said Chib, frustration on the part of the militant outfits, since, most of their Leaders have been neutralized by the Security Forces in the recent past.
He further added, these militant outfits, operating from Pakistan soil, are also demoralized, because of total isolation of their master, Pakistan, internationally.
Chib, was critical about such a big security lapse, when the GOI and the State Government, his fully equipped with a vast network of intelligence and counter-intelligence in the country and especially in J&K.
He said, it is known fact that these terrorists are trained, funded an exported on Indian soil by Pakistan, but they cannot operate successfully without the guidance and support of separatists and their men, who are providing them with the necessary inputs and safer places to hide.
Chib expressed confidence in our security forces and the Army Chief General Rawat who said, “the Army is fully committed to free Kashmir from the cycle of Terrorism.”
Chib however, also criticized the recommendations made by State Human Right Commission (SHRC) to pay Rs 10 Lacs, to Farooq Ahmed Dar, the stone pelter, who is a part of the terror outfits operating in valley.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry also staged protest at City Chowk Jammu to condemn the cowardly act carried out by the terrorists to fire upon and kill innocent Amarnath pilgrims mostly women.
Chamber President Rakesh Gupta said and appealed to the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to send bangles for these terrorist organisations as they did inhuman act of killing innocent Amarnath Yatries that too women that is not allowed in any religion.
Chamber President also thanked one and all of Jammuites for observing one day peaceful bandh and also to the Muslim brethren who observed complete shutdown in Muslim dominated areas.
Chamber President alongwith members also prayed for the departed souls to rest in peace.
Chamber also took up the matter of snapping the Internet services with the district administration and conveyed that Jammu province has always stood by brotherhood hence to restore the Internet services by today evening and the administration assured the Chamber President to do the needful.
The Executive Committee of the J&K Ex-Services League held under the Presidentship of Maj Gen Goverdhan Singh Jamwal condemned the ghastly attack by the Lashkar-e-Taiba on Amarnath Yatris with condolences and sympathies for the families.
Such acts will not discourage the pilgrimage which will continue with full devotion without fear.
Shiv Sena Hindustan also held strong protest against the terror attack on the bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims.
Condemning Pakistan and denouncing terrorism in the State, a protest march was taken in different bazaars of city against this dastardly attack on Yatries under the leadership of state president Rajesh Kesri.
They raised slogans denouncing Pakistan for sponsoring and supporting terrorism in the Kashmir Valley and lauded the security forces for eliminating terrorists and defeating their designs.
They also condemned attacks on the Amarnath yatries and criticized the Government for its failure to ensure fool proof security of the pilgrims.
They appealed people to maintain peace and religious brotherhood and isolate the anti-national and mischievous elements to defeat their nefarious designs. The activists also burnt a Pakistani flag on to protest against terror attacks on yatries and raised slogans against Pakistan and also targeted the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government.
Kesri alleged that Pakistan’s ISI was “sponsoring terror attacks” on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir while the Union government was “soft-peddling” over it to save the state government in which the BJP was a coalition partner.