Jammu & Kashmir

Police resort to lathi-charge after stones pelted during protest near toll plaza in Samba

Yuva Rajput Sabha members protest at Sarore toll plaza on Jammu-Pathankot highway. Section 144 was later imposed after protesting men vandalised the property.

Samba: Police used tear gas and lathi charges to disperse a protest that turned violent at the Sarore Toll Plaza on the Jammu-Pathankot highway in the Samba district.

The protest, led by the Yuva Rajput Sabha (YRS), called for the closure of the toll plaza and the release of detained members. Earlier, the authorities had enforced Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code to prevent gatherings of four or more people around the Toll Plaza after the YRS initiated their protest.

As of now, 26 individuals have been detained, and one person has been arrested for violating the prohibitory orders.

During the demonstration, protesters blocked the highway for over four hours, demanding the release of the detained YRS members and the shutdown of the Sarore Toll Plaza. The situation escalated as protesters resorted to stone-pelting, leading the police to respond with lathi charges and teargas to disperse the crowd, reports said quoting police.

The protest caused a significant traffic jam on the highway. Some protesters targeted the police and vehicles with stone-throwing, resulting in damage to vehicle windows and minor injuries to a few officers. This compelled the police to use lathi-charges and tear gas to disperse the mob.

District Development Commissioner Abhishekh Sharma confirmed that the situation was under control, and traffic had been restored on the highway. The protesters, led by YRS leader Virender Singh, remained firm, refusing to lift the blockade until their arrested members were released and the Sarore Toll Plaza was suspended.

Meanwhile, the Beopar Mandal Samba organized a peaceful protest in support of YRS, demanding the release of detained men and the removal of the toll plaza. The protest was led by Tejinder Singh, the president of Beopar Mandal Samba, who called for a symbolic bandh (shutdown) until 1 PM the following day. Tejinder Singh warned that if the government failed to address the demands, the agitation would continue.

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