Rajouri Deputy Commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary was among over two dozen people injured as the 37-day agitation in Nowshera for grant of district status took a violent turn Saturday. In the wake of the agitation, the state government had Friday decided to appoint separate Additional Deputy Commissioners for Nowshera, Sunderbani and Kalakote subdivisions, but this did not satisfy the protesters.
Trouble erupted on Saturday when a contingent of police and CRPF stopped a procession of local people from marching to the office complex of newly upgraded Additional Deputy Commissioner, which had reopened after the 37-day bandh. The people tried to break through the police cordon, with some throwing stones and petrol bombs at the police. A building adjoining the ADC premises caught fire, and was extinguished promptly.
Police and paramilitary personnel resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the crowd. Over two dozen people, including the Nowshera SHO and half a dozen policemen, were injured.
Rajouri Deputy Commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary rushed to Nowshera to speak to leaders of the joint action committee spearheading the agitation. However, they insisted on district status for Nowshera subdivision.