At least five persons, including two policemen, were injured when an anti-encroachment drive launched by the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) turned violent at the General Bus Stand here today.The injured included three local shopkeepers and two policemen who received minor injuries during the clash. Following the incident, shopkeepers blocked the Shalimar-Jewel road demanding the suspension of the official involved in ordering of cane charge. Traders also alleged that the drive was initiated without giving any notice.
It all started when a JDA team reached the bus stand this afternoon and started demolishing sheds and sunshades erected by shopkeepers. This was opposed by the traders.This led to a clash between policemen and protesters, which led to injuries.
“We have been doing business here for decades and every single construction has been done with the approval of the JDA. Now, how can they say that the construction is illegal? The government is unnecessarily harassing traders,” said an aggravated shopkeeper.Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has condemned the use of force by the JDA.
It warned the JDA to desist from use of force against the business community and work with restraint. It demanded a judicial inquiry into the said incident.However, a senior police officer said there was provocation by the protesters and the police were forced act to stop the situation from going out of control.None of the JDA official was available for comment.
Till the filing of this report, traders continued their protest.