Three shops belonging to one community were set ablaze and many vehicles damaged as communal violence broke out in parts of Kathua district following an act of sacrileges by some unidentified miscreants on late Sunday night.
Giving details, sources said that all the shops and other business establishments downed their shutters and vehicular traffic went of the roads on Monday morning immediately after news came about the slaughter of a bovine animal at Bhoond in Basohli on Sunday night. Scores of people took to streets protesting against the slaughtering of the animal.
An irate mob torched three shops belonging to a particular community at Basohli. They were raising slogans demanding action against the accused.
The trouble soon spread to nearby areas of Bani and Mahanpur, also where people joined the protest and observed a complete bandh. Stray incidents of violence were reported from some places with unruly mobs pelting stones and damaging vehicles.
Police and para military personnel have been deployed in strength in affected areas to check violence. According to officials, the situation was under control.
Significantly, the area has been the second incident of communal tension in the otherwise peaceful Jammu region during the last one month. Earlier, villagers had torched some vehicles at Vijaypur and blocked the Jammu-Pathankote national highway following a land dispute between communities in the area.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and former MLA from Basohli, Prem Sagar Aziz, has appealed to both the communities to maintain peace and not to get swayed by provocative propaganda of mischievous elements. He also appealed the police authorities to apprehend the culprits involved in sacrilegious act and initiate stern action against them.