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2013 Kishtwar Eid riots: Former J-K MoS, others indicted by probe panel

During Eid on August 9, 2013, a large number of houses and commercial establishments were reduced to ashes; three people were killed

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Updated: March 29, 2015 3:09:35 pm

Former Jammu & Kashmir Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo and around 60 senior civil and police officers have been indicted by the Justice R C Gandhi Commission looking into the 2013 Eid communal violence which left three dead and an over 80 injured.

During the nine-hour-long free-for-all during Eid on August 9, 2013, a large number of houses and commercial establishments were reduced to ashes prompting the then Omar Abdullah government to impose a curfew in Jammu province.

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Minister of State for Revenue and R&B Sunil Sharma said the indicted officers include former Jammu zone IG Rajesh Kumar, Ramban-Doda-Kishtwar range DIG Ashkoor Wani, Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner M. Saleem Choudhary and SP Sunil Gupta among others. The government is examining the final report of the inquiry commission, said Sharma.

Sharma, who is also the BJP MLA from Kishtwar, said Kitchloo should be immediately arrested. “Not only Kitchloo, even the then Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah) should be arrested for giving statements misleading the Assembly and the people,” he said, calling the Kishtwar violence a conspiracy to divide the state on communal lines.

Sharma, who defeated Kitchloo in Kishtwar in the 2014 Assembly polls, was accused by the Omar Abdullah-led NC-Congress coalition government of inciting and leading the rioters. To probe the causes and the persons involved in the riots, the government had appointed retired High Court judge Justice Gandhi as one-man inquiry commission. During its interim report, Justice Gandhi had exonerated Kitchloo and Abdullah had re-inducted him in the ministry.

The issue was raised by BJP legislators during Question Hour in the Assembly. They demanded Kitchloo’s arrest. When the members refused to listen to the Speaker’s request to take their seats, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Basharat Bukhari disclosed that the government had received the report.

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