Jammu: Protesters on Saturday clashed with police here as the three-day protest shutdown called for setting up an AIIMS in the Jammu region entered its second day.

A police officer said activists of the coordination committee clashed with police in Jewal Chowk and Parade areas of Jammu city.

“Police resorted to a mild Lathi-charge in Jewal Chowk and Parade area to disperse protesters who were stopping traffic in these areas,” the officer said.

Shops, other business establishments, educational institutions and public transport remained closed in Jammu city because of the shutdown call.

Government offices, banks and post offices, however, functioned normally in the city though with reduced attendance because of non-availability of public transport in the city.

Skeletal public transport operated on the outskirts while some three wheelers also moved on the city roads today.

The coordination committee of local traders, industrialists, lawyers and civil society members headed by Abhinav Sharma, president of the Jammu Bar Association, has called for a three-day shutdown in Jammu to mount pressure on the government for setting up an AIIMS in Jammu region.

A face off between the government and the coordination committee occurred on Thursday when the government said an ‘AIIMS-like facility’ would be set up in the region.

This, according to Abhinav Sharma, amounts to betrayal on part of Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh who had given a written assurance that an announcement setting up AIIMS in the Jammu region would be made before July 20.

It must he mentioned that setting up of an AIIMS in Kashmir Valley and an IIM in the Jammu region has already been announced by the central government.

Following this announcement, the demand for setting up an AIIMS for the Jammu region as well picked up momentum.

Highly placed sources in the coordination committee told IANS talks between them and the government are likely this evening to break the impasse.

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