A complete shutdown was observed in Poonch, about 235km from Jammu, on Wednesday to protest the terror attacks in Rajouri that left six persons, including two children, dead and 15 others injured.
Sanatan Dharam Sabha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagran Manch had given the bandh call. “The entire district observed a total shutdown to protest Rajouri killings. Commercial vehicles remained off the roads and markets wore a deserted look. Muslim community extended full support to the bandh call,” said a local from Poonch.
Security was beefed up in the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in view of the bandh, officials said. Shops and business establishments remained closed in the district as hundreds of people, braving cold weather, came out to hold protests. “Terrorism is rearing its ugly head in the Jammu region, but the administration is not bothered about the safety and security of the people,” said Manoj Kumar, one of the protesters in Poonch town.
In Kathua, protesters gathered on Jammu-Pathankot national highway at Kalibari and disputed traffic movement for over an hour.
Sanjay Gupta, a local leader, said people were “aghast over killing of six innocent Hindus”. Kashmiri Pandit employees, who have been demanding relocation away from the Valley following targeted killings, also took out a candlelight march in memory of the deceased. A similar march was carried out by Yuva Rajput Sabha in Jammu.
Reports of similar protests also poured in from Udhampur, Akhnoor, Katra, Reasi, Samba, Kishtwar and Doda districts. The J&K High Court Bar Association, meanwhile, took out a procession on the court premises. Lawyers suspended work in all courts, tribunals, and commissions to protest the Dhangri killings. Lawyers in Rajouri also observed a shutdown.