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Army called out in Jammu
Uma Bharati detained, house of PDP leader attacked
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 2
The Army was called out in Jammu and Samba districts today as angry protesters indulged in arson and set afire government buildings in the region late last night.

Defying curfew and heavy deployment of security forces, the protesters held massive demonstrations in various localities and also attacked former PDP MLA Shanti Deviís residence in the Shastri Nagar area of the city. They set afire a tent of securitymen outside Deviís home, forcing the guards to flee. They also hurled stones at her residence. The protesters dispersed only when the Army reached the spot.

A group of agitators also attacked a school owned by former Congress minister Gulchain Singh Charak and torched a vehicle of the Sports and Youth Services Department parked on its office premises on the Apsara road.

The police reportedly stopped some people, who were heading to Bishnah to participate in a ceremony in memory of Kuldeep Dogra. This led to a clash between the two parties, leaving 10 persons, including 3 cops, injured. However, the ceremony was held peacefully amid the Army's presence.

Following a fierce clash between the police and the protesters outside Raj Bhawan in the Panjtirthi area last night, the authorities today issued shoot-at-sight orders in the locality.

Massive rallies were taken out in Jeewan Nagar and Gangyal. Reports of protests were also received from Ban Talab, Nai Basti, Talab Tillo, Rampura, Gandhi Nagar, Muthi, Barnai and Doodadhari Square.

The police also detained volatile Bharatiya Janshakti Party leader Uma Bharati when she reached the Circuit House to address a press conference. She was taken to an undisclosed destination in Udhampur. Later, she was released at around 2 pm. Similarly, Hindu leader Sadhvi Ritambhara, who was here to address two public meetings, was sent back to New Delhi from the Jammu Airport.

Meanwhile, the situation was tense but under control in the neighbouring Samba district where two persons were killed and several injured in police firing last night.

In Kathua, the protesters targeted the vehicle of a private TV channel and forced it to return to Punjab. The agitators also clashed with the police at Kalibari, 3 km from Kathua.

Enraged over the killing of two persons in the police firing in Samba last evening, the protesters last night set ablaze buildings of the Hiranagar tehsil office in Kathua district, tehsil office in Samba, and excise department office in the Rehari area of Jammu.

They also tried to attack the police station in Samba. However, their attempts were foiled. Over 20 persons were injured in the clashes between the agitators and the security forces while the former were torching government offices.

The Army staged a flag march in Samba. The authorities also replaced Samba SSP Vijay Kumar with Prabhat Singh.

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