Curfew continued in Jammu for the second consecutive day Saturday as the situation remained tense while mob attacked residential quarters of Kashmiris in Janipur area on the city outskirts in the morning.
The mobile internet continued to remain suspended on Saturday as well while the internet speed of fixed line broadband connections was also slashed to prevent amplification of the situation.
The Army joined hands with the civil authorities to maintain law and order situation.
Internal Security (ISC) of Tiger Division along with air support from White Knight Corps were deployed in Gujjar Nagar, Janipur, Shaheedi Chowk, Talab Khatikan, Sidhra and other sensitive areas in the city.
Nine more Army columns were deployed in Jammu city, bringing the total to 18 columns, and the troops staged flag marches in sensitive localities.
Helicopters and UAVs of the Army were also put into operation to monitor the situation.
Talking to media, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu Range, M K Sinha said no untoward incident was reported during the day.
“The situation, by and large, remained normal all day long. We are closely monitoring the situation,” Sinha said.
The government had imposed curfew in Jammu city on Thursday after a mob set ablaze dozens of vehicles of Kashmiris and vandalized properties of a particular community of Jammu living in different parts of the city.
The trouble erupted when a group of people belonging to rightwing organisation including the Bharatiya Janata Party, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad took out a procession carrying Indian flags through Gujjar Nagar area.
The protesters also attacked Kashmiri-dominated government quarters in Janipur, Subash Nagar, Company Colony and tried to set ablaze several residential quarters of employees belonging to Kashmir.
Similar attacks were reported from Narwal, Shaheedi Chowk, Talab Khatikan, Residency Road and other areas.
Locals said many vehicles belonging to Kashmiris were damaged.
The mob had gathered to vent their ire against Kashmiris and locals of these areas to protest the Pulwama militant attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed and several others injured.
The IGP said some of the perpetrators involved in Friday’s stone pelting and torching of vehicles had been identified and soon action would be taken against them.
“The processes of identifying the culprits are in process. Some of them have been identified and appropriate action will be taken,” Sinha said.
However, talking to Rising Kashmir, many Kashmiris who are in Jammu city, said they were living in fear and had confined themselves to their homes.
“There is tension in the atmosphere. We are still not coming out of our homes,” said a Kashmiri.
Eyewitnesses said many Kashmiris who were stranded at Jammu bus stop due to road closure were taken to Bathindi to keep them safe.
Civil Secretariat Employees Union President Ghulam Rasool Mir told Rising Kashmir that the situation was still tense.
“Even though yesterday night, the Chief Secretary and the Divisional Commissioner visited the government headquarters and assured us all security, today morning the protesters again attacked residential quarters in Janipur,” Mir said.
He said around 6000 Kashmiri employees were currently working in Jammu city with the Darbar Move.
Meanwhile, Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) held a protest outside the Press Enclave in Srinagar and urged the government to provide security to Kashmiri employees in Jammu and Kashmiris in other parts of India.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma said the situation was returning to normal and no major incident took place in the city today.
On the number of vehicles that were set ablaze, Verma said so far around 20 vehicles had been identified and the owners would be compensated for their damage.
“Today, I met with the owners of these vehicles and I have assured them that they will be compensated,” he said.
Verma said the authorities would assess the situation Sunday morning before taking the final call on lifting curfew.
“Curfew will remain in place all night long. Police and Army are deployed in full strength,” he said.
Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) had called for a complete shutdown on Friday.
However, JCCI President Rakesh Gupta later addressing a press conference condemned the violence and called off the shutdown.
University of Jammu postponed all examinations scheduled for the day.
A spokesperson of the Jammu University said all examinations, theory and practical, to be conducted on Saturday were postponed due to unavoidable circumstances.
Srinagar-bound vehicles stranded on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway due to a landslide in Ramban were allowed to move forward amid tight security arrangements, they said.
“The curfew is being implemented strictly and there is no report of any untoward incident from anywhere,” Deputy Inspector General of Police, Jammu-Samba-Kathua range, Vivek Gupta said.