STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: Opposition on Tuesday staged a walkout from the Assembly after protests and uproarious scenes jammed the proceedings over clash between people belonging to two communities in Kathua district of the state.
Demanding an assurance and statement from the government, opposition members of NC, Congress, CPI (M) and Kashmir-based legislators trooped near the well and resorted to anti-government slogans for its “failure” in ensuring peace and security at the place where the clash occurred.
Amid sloganeering, protest and noisy scenes, NC MLC Mian Altaf said that the government has “failed” to protect Gujjars who have been “targeted” by locals.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Public Works Abdul Rehman Veeri had on Monday said that at around 7.30 AM some locals of Harya Chak village in the district found a severed head, allegedly of a cow, near the house of one Maskeen Gujjar, resident of Chak Dhari Harya in Chak Rajbagh.
Altaf said the authorities have “failed” to maintain law and order and demanded the removal of DC and SSP of Kathua district for the incident.
He was supported by Congress MLA Nawang Rigzin Jora and Independent MLA Engineer Rasheed and CPI (M) member M Y Tarigami.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister A R Veeri countered them by saying that government has already given reply in the House yesterday and the situation has come back to normalcy.
He levelled charges against the opposition for its “bad attitude” of raking up every issue and disrupting the House despite replying to the issue.
Amid sloganeering and pandemonium, the entire opposition led by Leader of the House Omar Abdullah staged walkout from the Assembly.
Later speaking to reporters, Jora said that BJP-PDP government was creating fear psychosis in the region and dividing people on communal lines.
“The law and order machinery has totally failed to ensure security and safety of the people and ensure peace in the state,” Jora said.
Hitting out at the government, NC MLA Mian Altaf said that “Gujjars have been targeted again this morning and there was fear among them. The DC and SSP should be immediately removed for failure to protect them.”
M Y Tarigami said that Jammu and Kashmir is a sensitive state and the government should act with caution to ensure that such incidents were not repeated.
Veeri had on Monday said in the Assembly that the situation was under control in Kathua and was being closely monitored by the civil and police administration.
“As the news spread, 200 to 300 members of the Hindu Community assembled there and held a protest demonstration and also blocked the road. Soon after one person took the severed head in his possession.
“Thereafter, the gathering swelled up to 500-600 people and they moved to Harya Chak Chowk in the shape of a procession,” he said.
The minister had said local police headed by SDPO Border and SHO reached the spot and tried to pacify the protesters.
“However, the protesters continued their march and on reaching Harya Chowk the gathering swelled to 700-800. Police made many attempts to stop the protesters but they managed to reach Harya Chowk where around 300-400 members of the Gujjar community had assembled. Stone pelting begun from both the sides,” he said.
Veeri had said the police, sensing the situation going out of control, lobbed some teargas shells and also fired few rounds in the air to disperse the mob and control the situation.
“The protesters dispersed but regrouped immediately,” he said.
Veeri said DIG Jammu-Kathua Range, Deputy Chief Kathua and SSP Kathua were on the spot making efforts to pacify the protesters.
“During the clashes between the two groups, the locals damaged the house of a person belonging to the Gujjar community. Due to the stone pelting, around 9-10 people sustained injuries. One police constable also sustained injuries during the clashes,” he said.
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