Jammu: Curfew continued to remain in force in Rajouri for the third consecutive day on Thursday with the authorities deciding to relax it for two hours in the evening.
“Curfew remains to be in place for the third day today. As the situation during the day remained normal, we are going to relax it for two hours in the evening,” Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri, Deepti Uppal, said.
Uppal said she has ordered a magisterial enquiry to ascertain the facts that led to the communal clashes in the town.
Internet services have been suspended in the district in order to prevent people from spreading rumors, she said.
Curfew was imposed in Rajouri town on Tuesday after activists of rightwing Hindu militant VHP reportedly burnt a flag inscribed with Kalima Tayyiba, leading to protests by Muslim groups.
Clashes were reported in parts of Old city area of the district as some youths, while defying curfew, pelted stones at policemen.
Leaders of both the communities during a meeting decided to resolve the issue amicably, the DC said.
She said police have decided to release those who were taken into custody folowing the stone pelting incident.
“They will be released but legal action against them would continue as per the law,” Uppal said.
Police had arrested over 20 people who were trying to disrupt the law and order situation in the town, by resorting to stone pelting.
Meanwhile, both factions of Hurriyat Conference have expressed concern over the prevailing situation in the district.
In a statement, a Hurriyat (G) spokesman demanded immediate arrest of the culprits involved in burning the flag. “The people involved in this filthy and shameful act of burning of the flag have neither been arrested so far and nor has been any case registered against them. Contrary to it, dozens of Muslim youth have been detained and dozens more are wanted,” he said
“The one-sided approach of the administration and police is further worsening the situations in the Rajouri and instead of delivering justice, with regarding to the said incident, the admin is directly taking the directions from the Dr. Nirmal Singh and is following his dictates,” the spokesman added.
He termed the statement of Nirmal Singh as “extremely shameful and mischievous in which he had defended the burning of the flag with Kalima Tayyiba written on that and had thumped the backs of those miscreants who had performed that shameful act.”
Hurriyat (M) while condemning the violence against the Muslims of the Rajouri, said that it was a “part of a ploy to change the demographic character and increase the regional tension in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.”
“The way in which communal and sectarian confrontations are being flared and in particular the way in which the spread of hatred against Muslims by the communal elements is being encouraged is not only regrettable but seems to the part of a bigger conspiracy of creating insecurity among the Muslims of the area,” a party spokesman said in a statement.
He alleged that the present government was “facilitating and encouraging” the ploys of communal and sectarian elements particularly in Jammu region to create an atmosphere of insecurity for the Jammu Muslims.
“Such a ploy is a part of a well hatched conspiracy and the role of the government in the whole scenario was a cause of concern,” he added.
Dukhtaran-e-Millat chairperson Syeda Asiya Andrabi also expressed concern over situation in Rajouri. “The communal administration is pushing the situation from bad to worse by arresting the victims while letting the goons, responsible for the unrest, free,” she said.She said that dozens of Muslim youth are arrested while as many have been forced to go in hiding to evade the arrest. “The situation in whole Rajouri district is worrisome and the majority community is being harassed,” she said in a statement.
With inputs from PTI