Communal tension in Poonch; Army stages flag march

Sohail Punjabi
Jammu: The Army Friday staged flag march amid ‘restrictions’ imposed by the district administration following communal tension in Poonch district.
Situation became tensed in the area Friday morning after four persons of a community were injured when some miscreants pelted stones at them while they were protesting against alleged misbehaviour of an auto driver with a girl.
“The restrictions imposed under Section 144 of the CrPC as a preventive measure were withdrawn this evening after normalcy returned to the area,” an official spokesman said tonight. “The situation is under control and no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the district,” he said.
Army personnel staged flag march during the day time, and police and administrative officials held meetings with senior members of both communities to bring the situation under control. Police have also assured the community members to arrest the accused auto driver soon.
Jammu and Kashmir Minister of Housing, Horticulture and Culture Raman Bhalla, Poonch MLA Ajaz Ahmad Jan, Divisional Commissioner of Jammu Shant Manu and Inspector General of Police (Jammu) Rajesh Kumar rushed to Poonch and took stock of the situation.
Police said the auto driver allegedly assaulted the girl belonging to a minority community during a ride from Malti to Poonch town yesterday.
The girl had narrated the incident to her family who went to the police station to lodge a case against Jamil. When the police initially refused to register the case, the members of the community resorted to a shut down by closing shops and stopping bus services.
Some members of the community were staging protest over the incident this morning near Sheri-Kashmir bridge when some miscreants pelted stones at them, police said, adding that four members of the group suffered minor injuries. This led to a communal tension in the area.
Police later registered a case against Jamil and sent police teams to various places to nab the driver.