Press Trust of india

Students in Jammu protest against ‘slogans by Kashmiri passengers’

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BJP extends support

Jammu, Feb 14: Hundreds of college students here boycotted classes and held protests for the third consecutive day Thursday against "objectionable" slogans allegedly raised by some stranded Kashmir-bound passengers.

On Monday, a scuffle had broken out between a group of students and some of the stranded passengers outside the Gandhi Memorial Science College here but timely intervention by police had brought the situation under control.

The clash had taken place when the students came out of the college to protest the alleged chanting of "pro-Pakistan" and "anti-India" slogans by some of the stranded passengers while protesting the alleged failure of the administration to help them in the hour of crisis.

Students of various collages like the Gandhi Memorial Science College, Maulana Azad Memorial Post Graduate College and others boycotted their classes and held protests in Parade, Canal Road, Jewel Chowk, Tawi Bridge and Bikram Chowk areas Thursday.

The sit-ins by students led to heavy traffic jams on major roads in the city.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, Tejinder Singh said action would be taken if anyone was found involved in raising "anti-national" slogans.

Hundreds of Kashmir-bound passengers, including students, are stranded in Jammu following the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway over the past seven days owing to heavy snowfall and rains which triggered multiple landslides.

On Monday, a large group of the stranded passengers, including students, had come for their registration at a hostel for their subsequent airlifting by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to the Valley but blocked the Canal Road outside the college to protest the delay in their airlifting and lack of facilities.

The J&K High Court Bar Association Jammu also held a protest demonstration in the District Court Complex here against the people allegedly raising "anti-national" slogans.

"Nefarious designs of the anti-nationals should be fought tooth and nail and nobody should be allowed to vitiate the otherwise peaceful atmosphere of Jammu to ensure maintenance of communal harmony and brotherhood," said senior advocate B S Slathia.

Meanwhile, the BJP state unit Thursday said it was extending its support to the agitation launched by students and claimed that those who raised "pro-Pakistan" slogans have been identified.

"I have talked to the governor and home minister (in connection with raising of anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans by some stranded Kashmiri passengers in Jammu). Their identification has been done. They will not be allowed to go scot-free," BJP state chief Ravinder Raina told reporters here.

He lashed out at the Congress, the National Conference and the PDP for allegedly having a "soft corner" for anti-India forces.

"The NC, the PDP and the Congress have sympathy for anti-national forces. They have a soft corner for killers. Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are fed by India but their hearts throb for others," he alleged.

"Students from different colleges in the Jammu region are enraged over the incident. They are the true children of Bharat Mata and will never tolerate anything against the country, and even today they have taken a stand in support of the nation," Raina said.

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