Curfew imposed in Poonch, army called out after communal clashes

August 8th, 2008 - 12:55 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Jammu, Aug 8 (IANS) The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir imposed curfew in the border town of Poonch Friday morning following clashes between Hindus and Muslims. The army has been called out to keep the situation under control, according to officials. According to reports, people of both communities came out on the streets Thursday night and held rival demonstrations over the issue of land allotment to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and its revocation, leading to clashes. Places of worship of both communities were targeted by stone throwing mobs.

The police had a difficult time controlling the situation.

Poonch is among the seven major towns in Jammu region where an agitation is on for the last five weeks for allocation of a plot in the Kashmir valley to the SASB.

Curfew restrictions are already on in the towns of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Rajouri and Bhaderwah.

“It is as a matter of precaution that curfew has been imposed in Poonch,” an official said, explaining that some miscreants were trying to create a “communal situation” in the town where the demographic composition of Hindus and Muslims is almost 50:50.

In Jammu, a six-hour curfew relaxation since 5 a.m Friday is on without any report of any untoward incident in the morning. Some shops were open and people were purchasing essentials even as soldiers and policemen were keeping watch over the situation.

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