Kishtwar Hindus under attack


The trouble in this Muslim majority district, 226 km from Jammu, erupted on Friday morning after a group of people raised anti-national slogans after Eid prayers, officials and local residents said, adding that this led to violent clashes.

By Niticentral Staff on August 9, 2013

http://www.niticentral.com/2013/08/09/kishtwar-hindus-under-attack-116590.html

Kishtwar Hindus under attack

One person was killed and over 20 injured as communal clashes broke out in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir where curfew was clamped and Army called in to assist the local administration in maintaining law and order.

The victim suffered gunshot wounds near a petrol pump in Kishtwar.

He, along with two others injured in the incident, were rushed to the Army hospital in the area where doctors could not save him. The other two were then taken to the Army Command hospital at Udhampur.

The clashes continued despite Army patrolling the streets, a senior official said, adding more troops have been requisitioned for the trouble spots.

Sources in Jammu told NitiCentral that at least 150 shops have been looted and set on fire. The shops belonged to Hindus. Fifty vehicles, including police jeeps, were set on fire.

The trouble in this Muslim majority district, 226 km from Jammu, erupted on Friday morning after a group of people raised anti-national slogans after Eid prayers, officials and local residents said, adding that this led to violent clashes.

The communal clashes spread like wild fire in other parts of the district with two groups indulging in stone-pelting, they said, adding at least 20 people were injured.

Police and CRPF personnel rushed to the area and used batons and teargas besides firing in the air to disperse the warring mobs gathered in various parts of the district.

A list of Village Defence Committee members was drawn up quickly so that the arms given to them could be withdrawn.

Five shops, a truck and a hotel belonging to the relative of an MLC were burnt down in the arson, police said.

Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah directed senior State and civil officials including police chief Ashok Prasad to rush to the scene and try and control the situation.

Minister of State for Home Sajjad Kitchloo was already in the area for his Eid celebrations. However, he could not move out of his Dak Banglow because of the clashes.

Expressing concern over the communal clashes, BJP has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to ensure security for the minority community in the state.

BJP president Rajnath Singh spoke to PM over telephone regarding the outbreak of violent clashes and demanded enhanced security in the area to bring the situation under control.

Kishtwar clashes: Rajnath speaks to PM, Sushma to Omar

“The Prime Minister assured me that the situation would be quickly brought under control as the army has been called out in Kishtwar,” Rajnath Singh said on twitter.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also called up Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and said the Army was conducting a flag march and more forces were being sent to the affected area.

“Chief Minister J&K has telephoned me to inform that Army flag march is on and more forces are reaching Kishtwar,” Swaraj said.

Meanwhile, the BJP has called a Jammu bandh on Saturday to protest against communal clashes and the Government’s failure in ensuring safety to minorities in Kishtwar.

BJP calls Jammu bandh over Kishtwar clashes

“We appeal for a Jammu bandh on Saturday against incidents of communal violence and the Government’s failure in ensuring safety to minorities in Kishtwar,” BJP State president Jugal Kishore Sharma said.

Once again the NC-Congress coalition has given a free hand to a section of people to harass, terrorise, kill and damage properties of minorities, he alleged.

Sharma, along with Leader of the BJP Legislature Party Ashok Khajuria, party national executive member Nirmal Singh and others led a protest march and sat on dharna at Kachi Chawni Chowk to protest against growing incidents of communal violence in Kishtwar.

The party has received support of Chamber of Commerce, Bar Association, local business community and social and religious organisations for Saturday’s Jammu bandh, Sharma said.

Shiv Sena, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Dogra Front and JMM have also supported Saturday’s bandh.

(With inputs from agencies)

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