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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Curfew imposed, internet suspended in J&K’s Kishtwar, Bhaderwah after communal tension

As a precautionary measure, internet services suspended in Chenab Valley comprising Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts

By: Express News Service | Jammu |
Updated: June 10, 2022 10:14:22 am
According to officials, inflammatory speeches were made during a protest against some derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad. (Representational)

Curfew was clamped in Jammu and Kashmir?s Kishtwar district and Bhaderwah town in adjoining Doda district, and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) were imposed in the rest of the Chenab Valley, including Ramban district, in view of communal tension after the use of derogatory language by some people belonging to two communities hurt religious sentiments on both sides.

As a precautionary measure, all internet services were suspended in Chenab Valley comprising Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts.

Officials, however, said that the situation is under control and talks are in progress with leaders of both the communities to cool down tempers.

Trouble reportedly erupted when objectionable remarks against a particular community were made during a protest rally by members of the majority community at Bhaderwah. The rally was organised to demand the arrest of people, including a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader, for their alleged Facebook posts extending support to suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks against Prophet Muhammad and his wife. The Kishtwar police registered an FIR in the matter and set up a special investigation team to investigate the case.

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Hearing about the derogatory remarks, a person from Khakhal area in Bhaderwah town allegedly posted a photograph of the Prophet and his wife along with his comments. Screenshots of this post spread like wildfire in Bhaderwah town, with members of the majority community coming out on the streets demanding the arrest of the person behind the social media post. This prompted a demonstration by members of the minority community in Bhaderwah.

Sensing trouble, the administration deployed reinforcements of police and Central Armed Police Forces and imposed curfew in the town.

However, protests led by Anjuman-e-Islamia inside the premises of Bhaderwah Jama Masjid continued, with protesters saying authorities had time till Saturday morning to arrest the accused.

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Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner Ashok Sharma said that curfew was imposed around 11 pm Thursday in view of a likely fallout of the Bhaderwah incidents.

Doda Deputy Commissioner Vikas Sharma said that except for curfew in Bhaderwah town, prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC banning assembly of four or more people at any public place were in force in the rest of the district.

In Ramban district too, Section 144 CrPC was imposed. In Batote town, police vehicles were seen moving around, asking shopkeepers to down their shutters.

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The situation was tense and authorities did not want to take chances in view of Anjuman-e-Islamia having already given a call for protests after Friday prayers.

Earlier, police had registered a case against some unknown persons for an alleged incident of vandalism at a temple near Kailash Kund in Bhaderwah.

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First published on: 10-06-2022 at 09:02:49 am

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