NC seeks enquiry into youth’s death, Cong expresses concern
State Times News Bhadarwah/Jammu: Curfew was clamped in communally-sensitive Bhadarwah valley in Doda on Thursday after members of a community attacked a police station and damaged several vehicles in protest against killing of a person who, they alleged, was targeted as he was involved in cattle trade. The Doda district administration, however, ruled out cow vigilantism as the reason behind the murder and said that some people were trying to give communal colour to the incident to flare up the situation. The authorities have blocked internet services in the district. “One person, Nayeem was coming from Chatergala side during midnight. When he reached near Nalthi area, he was killed and another person with him suffered splinter injuries (in a firing incident),” IGP Jammu Zone, M K Sinha said. He said that two suspects, who allegedly opened fire, have been arrested and five others have been detained. The body was sent for post mortem, he said adding the reason behind the firing incident in the area was being investigated. The killing triggered protests as a large number of people belonging to a community, including the kin of the deceased, pelted stones on Bhadarwah Police Station. They damaged several vehicles and set afire a three-wheeler, officials said. The protesters also pelted stones on premises belonging to another community, forcing police to cane charge and use teargas shells to disperse the mobs. The relatives of the deceased alleged that he was victim of cow vigilantism and was targeted as he was involved in cattle trade. Residents of Nalthi village told the police that two to three persons were found moving under suspicious circumstances at around 2 AM in the area which led to the firing. Deputy Commissioner of Doda Sagar Doifode, said, “There is no cow vigilantism involved in this incident. It is not the incident of that sort. Some people are deliberately giving it a communal colour.” He said that police are investigating the case and asked the people not to spread rumours. “The situation is tense but under control. Curfew has been imposed in the town,” the IGP said. Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh, president Anjuman-e-islamia Bhadarwah, has given a call for a shutdown and accused the saffron outfits of being behind the incident. Sanatan Dharam Sabha (SDS), Jammu condemned the violent protests and alleged the community which is in minority in the area was being targeted. “We suspect this is a well planned and coordinated action of anti-social and anti-national elements to disturb the peaceful situation in Bhadarwah area,” a spokesman of SDS said. Senior officials of administration, police and the army were camping at Bhadarwah to assess the situation. Authorities have appealed to the people to remain calm and assured them that all the culprits will be brought to book. Meanwhile, National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah has condemned the killing of a person, saying the frequency and severity of such violence has been a “dreadful hallmark” of the Modi-led central government. “I urge the incumbent administration to initiate a time-bound inquiry into the incident and bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book,” the former chief minister said in a statement. “Meantime I also urge the people to maintain traditional camaraderie and brotherhood. In this hour of grief, I pray for strength to the bereaved to bear the loss,” he said. Abdullah said the self-anointed vigilantes, knowing that there is no one to reprimand them, are rampantly indulging in such gruesome acts. “The utter laid back attitude of the incumbent central and state governments give an impression that there is a tacit alliance between the two,” the NC leader alleged. “The incident of Bhadarwah cannot be singled out; yesterday a Muslim in Assam was coerced to eat pork. Had the incumbent central government properly reined in these elements, such incidents would not have been recurring time and again,” he added. The Jammu and Kashmir unit of Congress expressed concerns over the situation in Bhadarwah and asked the government to identify the culprits and bring them to book. “We express grave concern over the situation in Bhadarwah following the killing of one person. The government to identify the culprits and book them under law of the land for award of stern punishment,” JKPCC President G A Mir said here. The Congress also appealed to the people to help maintain communal harmony in the area.
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