Jammu: Jammu today observed a complete shutdown in protest against the Anantnag attack, in which seven pilgrims were killed and 14 others, including three policemen got injured, while protests were staged here, amid anti-government slogans.
Shouting anti-government slogans, activists of the National Conference, Congress, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Team Jammu took out protest rallies in the winter capital.
The protestors, supported by locals, blocked the national highway at some locations and burnt tyres to express anger against the brutal attack.
Addressing the agitators, Chairman of Team Jammu Zorawar Jamwal rued the government for its failure in providing security to the Amarnath pilgrims.
He, however, lambasted the 'double speak' of the authorities and passing on the buck to each other, asserting, ''it was totally a security failure and requires a thorough probe.
''We wonder that the Kashmir police chief had said that the bus attacked by the terrorists was not a part of the convoy and registered with the Shrine Board but simultaneously, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in her statement cleared the dust by saying that the vehicle developed some technical snag, due to which it left the convoy,'' alleged the Team Jammu Chairman.
He, however, said it does not matter if the bus was a part of the convoy or not, but safety of the visitors to the Valley is the government's priority.
However, various political parties supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Industries, had also called for a Jammu bandh.
The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, headed by its Chairman and former Minister Harsh Dev Singh, also held protest demonstration against the killings and took out a march in the city.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee has also condemned the cowardly terrorist attack on the Amarnath pilgrims and expressed shock over the causalities.
JKPCC Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma has termed it as a deliberate attempt to hurt religious sentiments and foment trouble and described it as a major security lapse, despite all sorts of inputs and threats to target the yatra.
The state and the Centre had made tall claims of foolproof arrangement. The entire rank and file expressed grave concern over the attack and asked people to jointly register strong message to such forces and against failures to ensure foolproof measures.
The J&K National Conference also supported the call for Jammu bandh.
Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said a terrorist has no religion; a terrorist is a terrorist and must be treated as a terrorist.
The party appealed to all to fight together and defeat terrorism.
He said it is a nefarious design to vitiate the secular fabric of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. ''We all must unitedly work to thwart this conspiracy against Jammu and Kashmir and India,'' he added.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Jammu Rakesh Gupta called upon the people across India and the world over to come in large numbers for Amarnath Yatra, to give a befitting reply to the terrorists, as Kashmir is an integral part of the country.
The activists from VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena also extended call support to Jammu bandh and staged demonstrations here.
The protestors also burnt effigy of the government, amid slogans.
However, no untoward incident was reported from any part of the region during protests, while agitations were also held in Samba and Kathua districts, where the agitating people blocked the National Highway.