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Curfew imposed in 3 more Jammu towns

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: August 03, 2008 20:52 IST
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Curfew was imposed in three more towns of Jammu region on Sunday as clashes over Amarnath Shrine land row spread even as it continued without any break in Jammu city and adjoining Samba district.

Army troops enforced strict curfew restrictions in the Jammu city on Sunday where the authorities closed two local news channels this morning.

A posse of police and local officials descended at the offices of the two channels this morning and directed their closure.

State Chief Secretary S S Kapur told a press conference that the two channel operators were twice called by the administration and asked not to transmit the content that "flared up passion and violence."

"The channels continued to transmit highly objectionable and provocative material upon which the district magistrate ordered prohibition on transmission of these channels," Kapur said.

Police had to use teargas and baton charges to chase away curfew violators in the two localities of Jammu city on Sunday morning.

"Situation in Jammu city remained peaceful today," a senior police officer said. He said army troops were assisting the local authorities in restoration of law and order in the curfew-bound areas.

The entire national highway from Lakhanpur to Banihal has been cleared of crowds after the army was deployed to clear it for the passenger and goods traffic.

Trucks have been pressed into service to carry consignments of Kashmiri fruit to various destinations in the country, which had created a peculiar situation, with the local fruit growers demanding opening of the Srinagar Muzaffarabad road.

"We assure and guarantee free movement of trucks on national highway," Kapur told newsmen and asked fruit growers not to entertain any apprehensions on this account.

"The highway has been secured and situation was under control," he added.

Kapur declared in unequivocal terms the government's determination to disallow any disruption in the movement of traffic on the highway.

He said the Governor N N Vohra had given clear instructions against disruption of supplies.

The chief secretary said the administration had taken upon itself the task of securing the national highway and also sought the help of army in this regard. He said the steps taken on Friday evening had improved the situation.

Curfew had to be imposed on Sunday morning in the Udhampur, Bhaderwah and Rajouri towns as tensions between communities heightened there.

Police and paramilitary forces are patrolling these towns to defuse tension.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar