Shutdown in Jammu in wake of twin militant strike
Jammu city observed a complete shutdown on Friday in protest against the twin strike by three militants one on the Hiranagar police station in Kathua district, and the second on an Army base camp in Samba district, which claimed at least nine lives.
Jammu: Jammu city observed a complete shutdown on Friday in protest against the twin strike by three militants one on the Hiranagar police station in Kathua district, and the second on an Army base camp in Samba district, which claimed at least nine lives.
Militants dressed in Indian Army uniforms killed nine people, including five policemen, three Army soldiers and a civilian.
The shutdown call was given by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and supported by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries. All shops, business establishments remained shut.
"The entire Jammu will remain closed today. No shops will open and we will do no business. I am seeing that the entire Jammu is closed. No one has opened their shops and I don`t think there is a need to open the shops," said Ashok Mehra, a resident of the district.
Television footage showed police officials taking positions and firing from just outside the camp`s walls and closing the main gate. Wounded policemen were being lifted out.
Police officials said that after attacking the police station, the militants hijacked a truck.
The group of about three militants killed six people in the attack on the police station in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir, then hijacked a truck and drove to the Army camp, where they were hiding in a building, security forces said.
The attack came as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan`s Nawaz Sharif were due to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting. They were expected to discuss the violence in the disputed Kashmir region.
Meanwhile, members of the BJP youth wing also held a protest against the attacks and said that the security lapses by the government led to the occurrence.
The protesters said India will have to talk tough with Pakistan.
"We want to warn the federal government that if they want to make India proud, they will have to avenge the killings by Pakistani militants. The government will have to talk tough with Pakistan instead of trying to initiate peace talks. The rules and regulations of dialogue will have to be changed. Otherwise the day isn`t far when the people of this country will topple the federal government," said Sethi, a protester.
India has faced an insurgency in its part of Muslim-majority Kashmir since 1989 and has long accused Pakistan of supporting the militants fighting Indian rule. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told reporters he believed the group had entered from Pakistan within the last 24 hours.
Pakistan denies arming or training the militants, who cross the border from the Pakistani side of Kashmir into the Indian side, but says it offers moral support to the Muslim people of Kashmir who Pakistan says face rights abuses by Indian forces.
According to South Asia Terrorism Portal, which tracks violence in Kashmir, 128 people, including 44 security personnel were killed in the region this year, up to the latest attack. That compares with 117 people killed last year.