Muslims in Rajouri threatened to observe a bandh on Tuesday if the police failed to arrest the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal activists behind the burning an IS flag — which had holy inscriptions written on it — on Eid.
However, clarifying that it had no intention to hurt the sentiments of Muslims, the VHP, on the other hand, asked the protesters to demonstrate against the IS for writing holy inscriptions on its flag.
“We had only burnt the IS flag. We did not know as to what was written on it in Persian,’’ said the state VHP patron, Dr Ramakant Dubey, and its provincial president, Leela Karan Sharma.
Led by Khateeb (prayer leader) of the local Jama Masjid, Ghulam Rasool, the protesters demanded the arrest of people who, as they claimed, first wrote the holy inscriptions on the flag and then burnt it. It is being alleged that some VHP and Bajrang Dal activists made an IS flag using a black piece of paper, and wrote the holy inscriptions on it by hand, followed by the words “IS” and “Hai Hai’’.
Later, local Muslim leaders clarified that while they had no objection to the burning of the IS flag, they were protesting against writing of holy inscriptions by hand. The protesters asked the police to register a case and arrest the culprits by Monday evening.
With tension mounting in the town, which is prone to communal flare-ups, the district administration has deployed police and CRPF personnel at all vulnerable places. Several sensitive spots have been barricaded.
DIG (Rajouri-Poonch) A K Atri said the administration was trying to defuse tension by holding meetings between leaders of both the communities.