Angry anti-China protests in Jammu over killing of 20 soldiers in Ladakh

JAMMU: Anti-China protests were held at multiple locations in Jammu region on Wednesday over the killing of 20 Indian soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, with agitators demanding revenge, boycott of Chinese products and severing trade ties.

They torched China’s flag, effigy and Chinese products amid high-pitch sloganeering calling for a strong response to the action of the China’s People’s Liberation Army, officials said.

However, they said the protesters dispersed off peacefully.

The Indian Army on Tuesday said 20 Army personnel, including a Colonel, were killed in the clash on Monday night, in the biggest military confrontation between the two armies in over five decades.

The first protest of the day was reported from Akhnoor in the outskirts of Jammu, where a large group of locals burnt tyres and blocked the Jammu-Poonch Highway for over half-an-hour.

Later, other groups of people under the banner of various organizations including Shiv Sena Dogra Front, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Bajrang Dal staged protests at nearly a dozen locations in the city.

Young activists from different political parties and social groups also staged protests, the officials said.

“India will not tolerate such kind of activities. This (the killing of Indian soldiers) has sparked rage among the people. We want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to avenge the killing, Shiv Sena Dogra Front Chairman Ashok Gupta told reporters.

Gupta, who was leading the protest at Rani Park, suggested snapping trade ties with China to send a strong message.

The protesters set ablaze several Chinese products.

Rashtriya Bajrang Dal activists, some of whom were armed with tridents, gathered near the Press Club and burnt an effigy of China.

We want revenge. We have done so in the past, by carrying out surgical strikes in Pakistan following an attack on an army camp in Uri sector of Baramulla district and later in the aftermath of a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama district of south Kashmir,” said one of them.

Reports of protests were also received from other parts of Jammu region, the officials said.

Meanwhile, the J&K unit of BJP announced postponement of all party programmes till further orders in view of the prevailing situation on the India-China border in Ladakh.

“Due to the prevailing situation at the border, all party programmes stand postponed till further notification, J&K BJP media incharge Pardeep Malhotra said in a statement.