Tension spilling over to Jammu

March 16th, 2012 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, March 16 (IANS) Tension prevailed in the Jammu region Friday following clashes between protestors and police a day earlier in the border town of Rajouri, which has seen communal anger in the past week.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has deputed two National Conference leaders and one Congress minister to the border town to defuse the situation and bring about reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims.

But Jammu’s business community and other groups have given a call for a “Jammu bandh” Saturday.

On Thursday, police had allegedly severely beaten up residents, mostly Hindus, who were taking out a procession demanding action against rowdy elements who had pelted their religious procession with stones.

But police burst tear gas shells and baton-charged people, in some instances barging into their homes, people alleged. This infuriated protestors, who came out in large numbers and pitched battles ensued. More than a dozen people were injured.

Unable to control the situation, the district authorities re-imposed curfew in the town and other major towns like Sunderbani and Nowshera Thursday night.

Trouble started when Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia made a provocative speech in the town last week. His speech prompted Muslim groups to demand action. While police registered a case, this was opposed by the Hindus of the area.

But the situation worsened when some mischievous elements threw stones at a religious procession of Hindus, provoking clashes. The situation was brought under control by imposing a curfew.

Inspector General of Police Dilbagh Singh who is camping in Rajouri told IANS over phone: “Efforts are on to defuse the situation.”

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