An indefinite curfew has been imposed in parts of Jammu following protests that broke out on Friday, a day after at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed in a suicide bomb attack. The Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack in Pulwama.
Locals reportedly pelted stones on police and torched vehicles in Gujjar Nagar area of Jammu city, Kashmir Reader reported. At least 12 people were injured in the violence, according to The Indian Express.
Jammu District Magistrate Ramesh Kumar imposed curbs in Jammu city under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, banning the assembly of four or more people. The curfew was imposed as there is a likelihood of breach of peace which may lead to acts of arson, targeting vehicles and causing loss of life and property.
Curfew was imposed at Bus Stand, Bakshi Nagar, Peer Mitha, Pacca Danga, Channi Himmat, Janipur, Bagh-E-Bahu, Domana and Nawabad areas, ANI reported. Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Kumar told The Tribune that additional forces have been deployed in sensitive areas to avoid violence. An unidentified official said two army columns have sent to stage flag marches to maintain peace, PTI reported.
The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry had called for a shutdown in the city. It was supported by several various organisations, including the J&K High Court Bar Association.
Protests also erupted in other major cities across the country condemning the attack. Protestors set fire to Pakistani flags and chanted anti-Pakistan slogans.
Several political parties in the country have condemned the terror attack in Pulwama . India on Friday announced the withdrawal of the “Most Favoured Nation” tag from Pakistan. India has blamed Pakistan for the incident, while Islamabad has rejected the allegations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, promised strict action against the perpetrators of the attack. Both spoke of Pakistan’s complete isolation at the international level. Modi also said the government had given the security forces a free hand in the wake of the attack.
The Congress party has said the Opposition will stand united with the government.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she was “distressed” to hear miscreants “taking advantage of the situation by inciting tension”. Guv adm [government administration] should have preempted this by securing minority dominated areas,” she tweeted. “It will be a travesty [and] against the spirit of our secular ethno-cultural values to use this terror attack as an excuse to target minorities.”
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the reports of violence and arson were “deeply worrying”. “Giving vent to anger by attacking innocent people because of their ethnicity or religion is no way to honour the sacrifices yesterday,” he said. “I hope political leaders [and] civil society are able to ensure cooler heads prevail.” Abdullah said preemptive measures should have been taken to avoid the tense situation.