Curfew in Kishtwar district after communal clashes, one killed; Army called in

Kishtwar violence.jpg

Jammu: One person was killed and over 20 injured as communal clashes broke out in Kishtwar district where curfew was clamped and Army called in to assist the local administration in maintaining law and order.
The victim, whose identity was not immediately known, suffered gunshot wounds when a group of protestors fired at him 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.
The streets of Kishtwar saw ugly scenes with people of two communities attacking each other and indulging in widespread arson or torching shops and vehicles. The trouble in this district, 226 kms from here, erupted Friday morning after a group of people raised anti-national slogans after Eid prayers, officials and locals said, adding that this led to violent clashes.

A police vehicle in flames after two groups indulged in stone-pelting and arson in Kuleed area inKishtwar disdrict on Friday - PTI
The communal clashes spread like wildfire 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A list of Village Defence Committee members was drawn up quickly so that the arms given to them could be withdrawn.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 a kin of an MLC were burnt down in the arson, police said.
Jammu and 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. 
Next: Rajnath speaks to PM, Sushma to Omar on Kishtwar clashes

Rajnath speaks to PM, Sushma to Omar on Kishtwar clashes
New Delhi: Expressing concern over communal clashes in Kishtwar town of Jammu and Kashmir, BJP on Friday sought Prime Minister Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to ensure security for the minority community in the state.
BJP President Rajnath Singh talked to the Prime Minister over telephone regarding the outbreak of violent clashes in Kishtwar district and demanded enhanced security in the area to bring the situation under control.
"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. Curfew was imposed and Army called out in Kishtwar district following clashes between people belonging to two communities that left at least 15 people injured.

BJP spokesperson Sudanshu Trivedi told reporters that the Prime Minister assured the BJP President that all effective measures will be taken to control the situation.
"Our information is that the situation is still not fully under control. The Prime Minister has assured our party President that all steps will be taken to prevent this communal situation from flaring up," Trivedi said.
"We have received information that communal harmony was disturbed in the area due to some events that took place at around 9 am. Though curfew was imposed by the state government, it does not appear to be effective," Trivedi said.
Swaraj spoke to Omar Abdullah, following which the Chief Minister called her and said the army has been deployed.
"This requires immediate attention. This is very disturbing. I have checked up Kishtwar. Many injured. Houses and shops burnt. Please do something immediately," Swaraj told Abdullah in a series of tweets.
"I am not referring to any side. Every person injured there is a Hindustani. I have spoken to people there. The situation is bad. Please rush enough people forces and save people," Swaraj requested the chief minister.
She also reiterated that she would not bypass the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on the matter as law and order is a state subject.


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