Curfew was imposed in Samba and the Army called out to control the situation following largescale arson and violence in the district. Even the vehicle of District Magistrate Sheetal Nanda was set ablaze on the national highway near Vijaypur on Thursday evening after protests erupted over reports of an alleged act of sacrilege by some unidentified miscreants.
To quell violence, police resorted to lathicharge, lobbed teargas shells and even fired shots in the air.
However, as tension rose in the area, the district magistrate imposed curfew in the entire Samba district and called the Army to control the situation.
Trouble erupted after locals spotted the head of a bovine animal floating in a nullah near Raya after the rains.
As the word spread, some local youth gathered on the spot and started protesting. They started hurling stones at trucks passing through the area.
While police officials tried to crack down on the protesters, they were soon outnumbered and were forced to leave the spot.
After the police retreated, the protesters started torching vehicles on the national highway. The violence soon spread to the other areas, forcing the DM to impose curfew.
At the time of filing this report, the police had stopped movement of vehicles from Samba to Jammu and vice versa.
On Wednesday, people had blocked the national highway near Bari Brahmana in protest over the burning of some religious books at a local industrial unit.
Seeing a link between both incidents, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal, said the incidents appeared to be the handiwork of some anti-national elements who wanted to create trouble in the region.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines