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Jammu: Uma Bharti detained, Sadhvi Ritambhara sent back

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
Last updated on: August 02, 2008 14:33 IST
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Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti was detained today in the trouble-torn Jammu region while Sadhvi Ritambhara was sent back, official sources said.

Bharti arrived in Jammu on Saturday morning from New Delhi and was scheduled to address a press conference but police took her into custody. She was later taken to Udhampur district.

Another fire-brand Hindu leader Sadhvi Ritambhara was not allowed to enter Jammu. Sources said she was sent back to Delhi from Jammu airport.

However, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley was stopped by the police at the airport for over an hour before being allowed to go to the BJP headquarters in Jammu.

Meanwhile, Army troops carried out flag marches in Jammu and adjoining Samba district on Saturday to defuse the tension after protests against the cancellation of land allotment to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board turned violent on Friday night.

The Army had been called in to enforce the curfew in Jammu city and the adjoining Samba district.

Angry mobs defied curfew restrictions in parts of Jammu today afternoon, prompting the police to resort to baton charges.

Authorities have restricted the movement of journalists in curfew bound Jammu.

The situation took an ugly turn on Friday, after violent mobs blocked the airport road and later indulged in arson and violence in parts of the city.
Two protestors were killed in police firing late on Friday night in Samba, where the angry mobs ransacked a government rest house and attacked the local district magistrate's office and tried to manhandle the district magistrate.

The mob also attacked the local police station. The protestors blocked the Pathankote-Srinagar highway, leaving thousands of vehicles and trucks stranded.

'I have sought the Army's assistance for strict enforcement of the curfew and to re-open the highway. Today we cleared nearly 3,000 stranded trucks carrying essential supplies to the valley," Saurau Bhaghat, district magistrate of Samba, told
"We have also cleared trucks that were carrying fruit consignments from Kashmir to other parts of the country," he added.
The situation in Samba town is tense but under control, according to authorities.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar