Violent protests amid curfew in Kishtwar as RSS leader cremated

Violent protests amid curfew in Kishtwar as RSS leader cremated
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Kishtwar: Violence broke out in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar town on Wednesday as angry mourners clashed with police during the funeral procession of the senior RSS leader killed in Tuesday’s militant attack along with his PSO, prompting the Army to stage flag march in the area.
No one was injured in the clashes, officials said. Curfew remained imposed for the second day in the district following the killing of senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary Chanderkant Sharma and constable Rajinder Kumar, even as police intensified searches to nab the assailant.
According to eye-witnesses, a large number of people came out of their houses to take part in the funeral procession of Sharma. In Dak Banglow area, an irate crowd held protests and raised slogans against Pakistan and militants.
The group soon turned violent and pelted stones on police personnel deployed there. During the clash, police resorted to cane charge and teargas shelling to disperse the protesting mourners and brought the situation under control.
The slain RSS leader was cremated at Chowgan ground in a ceremony attended by Sangh leaders including its JK chief Suchet Singh, BJP state president Ravinder Raina and former deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh. The mourners shouted slogans like ‘long live Chanderkant’.
After the cremation, the crowd turned violent again and stormed the office of the Superintendent of Police. The protesters ransacked some furniture and pelted stones. Police used cane charge to disperse them, they said.
The Army conducted flag march in the city after the incidents.
“There were incidents of violent protests (at two places). Some protesters entered SP office, and ransacked of some furniture item. But situation has been brought under control and curfew is imposed,” SSP Kishtwar Shakti Pathak told PTI.
“There were some incidents, because tempers were running high. However, the situation has been brought under control”, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma told PTI.
Constable Rajinder Kumar was cremated in his native Mughal Madian area of Kishtwar where hundreds of people gathered.
Dogra Swabhimaan Sangthan (DSS) chief and candidate for Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha seats, Choudhary Lal Singh, was Wednesday detained with his supporters when they were on their way to Kishtwar, officials said.
The former minister was detained in Assar area of the Doda district, they said.
“There is strict enforcement of curfew. Army continues to remain deployed,” Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, A S Rana said.
There were reports of brief protests in some areas in the old city against the killings, Rana said, adding strict vigilance is being maintained in all sensitive areas of the district.
The body of the senior RSS functionary was airlifted to Kishtwar from Jammu.
Government forces have launched a massive cordon and search operation in various areas to track down the killer, officials said.
A militant had opened fire on the duo at a health centre here. After the incident authorities had imposed curfew and called the Army to maintain law and order.
Condemning the attack, the RSS had termed it a “security lapse” and called for extending the Army’s ‘Operation All Out’ in the hilly district to prevent spread of militancy in Jammu region. —PTI