Jammu, 12 Aug (PTI): Curfew remained in force in six districts of Jammu region today amid deployment of Army even as ten people were arrested in connection with communal clashes in Kishtwar. “However, in Udhampur district, a two-hour relaxation in curfew was given in the morning which passed off peacefully,” said an official.
“Curfew continues in several districts of Jammu region.The situation is limping back to normalcy. No untoward incident has been reported from anywhere,” Divisional Commissioner, Jammu region, Shantmanu told PTI. “A total of 68 shops, 7 hotels and 35 vehicles have been damaged during the untoward incidents and 3 causalities have been reported so far (in communal violence in Kishtwar district)”, Shantmanu added.
“Ten miscreants have been arrested for their involvement in Kishtwar communal violence and process of further arrests is on. FIRs have been been already registered and investigation is going on,” said the state’s Principal Secretary, Home, Suresh Kumar.
In Jammu, stray disturbances were reported last evening with a vehicle being torched at Raipur Chowk in Domana belt following clashes between two communities. One child received minor injuries in the violence and was hospitalised. Stone-pelting took place in Janipur, Raipur, Teli Morh and Subash Nagar areas although no injuries are reported. In Kishtwar district, one vehicle was set ablaze by unknown miscreants despite curfew there at night, reports said.
Meanwhile, state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz appealed for peace and asked the government to bring to book those behind the situation in Kishtwar. “His party workers have formed peace brigades at various levels to reach out to the people and help restore normalcy in the state,” Soz told reporters here.
BJP state president Jugal Kishore, on the other hand, demanded the sacking of J&K Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo, alleging that he was involved in the violence.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hit back at the BJP for criticising the state government over the handling of Kishtwar communal violence, saying it should recount its response to 2002 Gujarat riots.
“Three unfortunate deaths – one Hindu, two Muslim and we’ve a judicial inquiry with my Minister resigning. Would the BJP care to recount 2002 response(?) Would (Arun) Jaitley be so kind as to inform (the) Parliament whether the (then) Gujarat Home Minister or MoS Home resigned or even offered to (resign) in 2002!” he said.
Calling the BJP leaders “hypocrites”, Omar said that the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi waited for days to call out the army for controlling the riots in his state and has not apologised for it so far.