September 15, 2010 3:47:07 am
After Sundays violence,Malerkotla,a predominantly Muslim town 60 km from Ludhiana,witnessed a fine example of communal harmony. Amjad Ali,the CMD of Sohrab Group of Industries and a member of one of the oldest families of the area,came forward to repair the damaged church and install new furniture. His efforts ensured that an all religion prayer meeting could be held there at 3 pm on Tuesday.
However,the situation was not normal in Jammu even as the state government tried to dispel rumours about burning of Koran in the US. For the second day on Tuesday,the administration imposed curfew in Poonch. A dozen people,including policemen,were injured when the latter lobbed teargas shells to disperse a group of stone pelters who allegedly attacked the police station at Kishtwar.
Ali,who heads a textile mill,a spinning mill and an export house,said,Sundays incident is a blot on our town and it is the duty of Muslims to come forward and ensure that the wounds are healed at the earliest. I travel all over the world for my business and wherever I go I tell people that in Malerkotla we live in peace. But what happened on Sunday was shameful. Getting the church repaired and restarted is my way of repentance.
Meanwhile,complete bandh was observed at Mandi,Surankote and Mendhar,with people holding demonstrations and taking out rallies against alleged desecration of their holy book in the US. At some places,they burnt the effigies of US president Barrack Obama and Florida pastor Terry Jones.
Complete bandh was observed in adjoining Rajouri district,with Muslims taking out a protest rally at the district headquarters and Hindu leaders joining the rally to condemn the alleged burning of Koran. The situation was the same in Doda and Ramban districts,which observed near total bandh. Reports of demonstrations came in from Lohang in Kathua district and some parts of Jammu city.
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