Curfew clamped in Leh, troops called out
9 February 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: An indefinite curfew was clamped in Leh town this afternoon and Army was called out to stage a flag march following tension between the two communities on the eve of Ashoora procession today. Today's procession was taken out amidst curfew. The procession, attended by about 2000 people, culminated at 11.45 pm tonight. Tomorrow's procession is also expected to be taken out during the curfew in the town but it will not be enforced on the route of procession. Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Satish Nehru said trouble was brewing up in the town here since this morning as some people alleged pelted stones at a religious place before a procession was scheduled on the eve of Ashoora. They also pelted stones on the houses of a particular community. Fire in an isolated house of a particular community, which was albeit stated to be accidental, also led to fresh trouble in the town leading to imposition of curfew in the town. Mr Nehru said curfew was imposed to maintain law and order and ensure that there was no fresh trouble during today's procession. Curfew was later lifted and Section 144 was strictly imposed barring the route of procession, he added. Sensing trouble, Army was also called out in the town which staged a flag march to restore confidence among the people. Army has also been kept stand-by for tomorrow's procession, the Deputy Commissioner said. The processions on the eve of Ashoora was taken out this evening amidst tight security arrangements. The procession culminated peacefully at Imambara at 11.45 pm tonight. Senior officers of civil and police administration accompanied the procession, which was attended by about 2,000 people. Tomorrow's main Ashoora procession is expected to be attended by a large number of people. According to sources, the district administration has decided to go ahead with Section 144 and deployment of Army for tomorrow till tomorrow's main procession is completed. The administration has decided not to stop the procession. Meanwhile, a meeting of both the communities was convened by the DC tonight to ensure maintainance of law and order and trouble free Ashoora procession. Security has been stepped-up in the town especially in the villages where houses of minority community have been located, Mr Nehru said. He added that over two dozen miscreants have been detained for creating trouble.