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Communal tension in Poonch, shops shut

Police personnel in strength were deployed in the town, with senior civil and police officers trying to defuse situation by persuading prominent people from both communities maintain peace.

By: Express News Service | Jammu |
Updated: August 9, 2016 9:44:04 pm
communal violence, communal tensions, poonch, jammu, poonch protest, poonch strike, poonch jammu, hindu muslim, jammu news, india news Trouble erupted when Molvi visited him for replacement of a watch purchased from him a few days ago saying it was not working properly and the latter refused to oblige him saying that it had been broken. (Source: Google map)

Tension erupted in border Poonch town on Tuesday afternoon with majority Muslims closing their business establishments in protest over alleged scuffle between two persons including a shopkeeper belonging to different communities. Both of them have been identified as Molvi Anwar Hussain Shah, 45, and Ankur Bali, 30. While the former was a teacher at the Jamia Zia-ul-Uloom, Poonch, and the other was dealing in the sale of watches and mobile phones.

Trouble erupted when Molvi visited him for replacement of a watch purchased from him a few days ago saying it was not working properly and the latter refused to oblige him saying that it had been broken. After heated arguments, both came to blows. During scuffle, the glass at the counter of the shop also got broken.

Local people intervened and rushed Molvi to the hospital after he complained of pain in the stomach and the head. From there, he was rushed to Government Medical College Hospital at Jammu for specialized opinion of neurologist.

Though Medical Superintendent of the District Hospital at Poonch, Dr Mumtaz Bhatti, said that the Molvi was “fine’’ with “no apparent injuries on him’’ and they have referred him to Jammu “only as a precautionary measure to seek the opinion of a neurologist also’’, the news spread like wild fire leading to tension in Poonch town with Muslims closing down their establishments and holding demonstration. Some of the demonstrators even raised pro-Azadi slogans.

Ankur Bali was arrested and a case registered against him. Police personnel in strength were deployed in the town, with senior civil and police officers trying to defuse situation by persuading prominent people from both communities maintain peace.

Meanwhile, Romesh Bali, uncle of the arrested shopkeeper, accused Molvi and his accompanying supporters of attacking his nephew. They ransacked the shop and even took away a number of mobile phones, he said, putting the total loss at around Rs 2 lakh. He accused police of not taking cognizance of their complaint.

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