Jammu: Amid protests, a complete shutdown was observed in Muslim-majority Chenab Valley regions of Jammu, a day after pages of the Holy Quran were found on crackers used in the burning of effigies of demon king Ravan during Dusshera festival at Bhaderwah on Thursday.
The call for shutdown was given by a Muslim cleric in Bhaderwah. Commercial establishments, schools remained closed and traffic remained off roads.
In Bhaderwah, Kishtwar and Doda, protestors shouted pro-Islam slogans and demanded action against the cracker manufacturing companies for hurting their religious sentiments.
Eyewitnesses said protestors assembled in the main chowk of Bhaderwah in the morning and burnt tyres on the road, blocking the movement of vehicular traffic on on Bhaderwah-Doda road.
Police and civil administration tried to pacify the protestors by assuring legal action against the owners of the cracker factory but the protesters did not relent.
Deputy Commissioner Doda Bhupinder Kumar admitted the paper used in the crackers had Quranic verses written on them.
“There was a peaceful protest in the town and not only Muslims but members from Hindu and other communities also condemned the act,” Kumar told Kashmir Reader.
He said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Bhaderwah Sardar Sajjad Ahmed Khan had been constituted for investigations.
Kumar said there were no reports of clashes or any communal sloganeering during the protests in the area.
“An open FIR has been lodged against the cracker manufacturing company on charge of hurting religious sentiments,” Kumar said.
In Kishtwar, soon after Friday prayers, protesters shouting anti-RSS, anti-PDP slogans assembled at the Bus Yard.
Addressing the gathering, Maulana Farooq Kichloo, Jamaat-e-Islami leader GN Gundna and senior pro-freedom leader Maulana Qayoom condemned lynching of Muslims in Dadri, Himachal and the attack on truckers at Udhampur.
Qayoom also condemned the arrests of pro-freedom leaders in the Valley.
“People should get united under the leadership of Geelani sahib and pursue the goal (for freedom). The RSS, BJP and PDP are conspiring to repeat 1947 in Jammu region,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Farooq Lone said restrictions would be imposed in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of 6 police stations of Srinagar on Ashura today