Ex-minister held in Jammu during protest


Jammu: A dozen Congress activists, including former Jammu and Kashmir minister Sham Lal Sharma, were arrested here on Sunday for defying restrictions on the assembly of 10 or more people.

A police officer told IANS that the arrests took place at Dogra Chowk area. They were taken into custody during a protest demanding an All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Jammu region.

The administration has banned the assembly of over 10 people in the city in the wake of a three-day shutdown called by the AIIMS Coordination Committee.

The committee, which has lawyers, traders and industrialists as members, accused Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh of backing out of a written commitment that an announcement to set up AIIMS in Jammu region would be made before July 20.

“Instead of that the government rubbed salt on our wounds by announcing that an ‘AIIMS-like facility’ would be set up in Jammu region,” said Abhinav Sharma, a committee member and president of the bar association.

The central government has announced an AIIMS for the Kashmir Valley and an Indian Institute of Management for Jammu region.