A youth was killed and six people, including two policemen, were injured as clashes erupted on Thursday between the police and a group of Sikh youth who were protesting against removal of posters of slain Khalistani militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Jammu city.
Situation was tense and authorities imposed section 144, which bars gathering of more than four persons at a place, in various parts of Jammu city. Some youth were taken into custody, police officials said.
One youth was killed and six people including two cops were injured in clashes during which the mob pelted stones and police responded by cane-charging and teargas shelling in Satwari area of the city, police officials said. Hospital sources, however, said the youth had died due to bullet injuries.
Trouble started when hundreds of Sikh youth, armed with sticks and 'kirpans', converged on Ranibagh-Gandhigarh belt on Satwari-R S Pura road and blocked traffic in protest against the removal of Bhindranwale's posters put up by an organisation of the community ahead of his death anniversary on June 6, the officials said.
Raising slogans against police and government, some of them also tried to block the Jammu-Pathankote highway at Satwari. Reports said some of them also raised pro-Khalistan slogans.
Heavy contingent of police rushed to the spot and asked them remove blockade from the road and allow the traffic but Sikh youth pelted stones at police, triggering clashes. The situation was tense and some people are trying to disturb the situation in Jammu, police said.
This is for the first time that posters of the slain Sikh militant leader had come up in Jammu.
A police officer was injured on Wednesday after being stabbed allegedly by some Sikh youth protesting against removal of these posters. Sub-inspector Arun Kumar was critically wounded after he was attacked with a sharp edged weapon by some Sikh youth, police said, adding he has received several stitches and is admitted to the GMC Hospital with two other policemen.
Some members of Sikh community representing a particular organisation had put up posters of Bhindranwale and some other militant leaders yesterday on Satwari-R S Pura road here ahead of a programme to pay tribute to him.
Station House Officer of Satwari Police Station removed the posters, triggering protests from Sikh youths.
Image: Sikh protesters scuffle with police for removing the poster of Jarnail Singh (Bhindrawala) near the airport in Jammu. Photograph: PTI