Tension in Jammu, passengers-students clash

Nearly 4,000 stranded passengers, including women and children, are stranded in Jammu for six days; they have been put up at the General Bus Stand.

Stranded in Jammu after landslides blocked the strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway for the sixth day running, a group of Kashmir-bound passengers clashed with some local students on Monday.

With tempers running high, a few people allegedly raised pro-Pakistan slogans, leading to further tension.

Nearly 4,000 stranded passengers, including women and children, are stranded in Jammu for six days; they have been put up at the General Bus Stand. Following complaints of cash crunch and health problems due to unsanitary conditions, the local administration shifted them to Mufti House, a hostel run by the Auqaf Islamia, on Sunday.

Trouble began on Monday when someone threw a stone at a vehicle passing by the hostel, and occupants of the vehicle alleged that the stranded passengers were behind the act. Amid tension, some passengers, already irked over administration’s failure to airlift them to Srinagar, allegedly raised pro-Pakistan slogans, officials said.

The slogans attracted attention of students at a nearby hostel, who confronted the stranded passengers. This led to arguments, followed by stone-pelting between the two groups, resulting in injuries to a few people, an official said.

Police and administration officials reached the spot and controlled the situation.

Jammu Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma, along with I-G (Jammu) M K Sinha, and I-G (Traffic) Alok Kumar, visited Ramban to supervise road clearance work.

They also held a meeting with officials of the Border Roads Organisation to ensure reopening of the highway.

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