Kishtwar Calm After Communal Riots, Curfew In 3rd Day

14 August 2008

Jammu: Amid flag marches by army and shoot-at-sight orders, indefinite curfew entered its third day today in Kishtwar district. Curfew was imposed on Tuesday after the district witnessed violent communal clashes, firing and grenade blast leaving two persons dead and 30 injured and also led to 38 buildings and 13 vehicles being set afire. Curfew was however relaxed in Jammu, Samba and Udhampur districts for varying periods but normal life continued to be affected due to the bandh called by the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti. SASS, which is spreaheading the ongoing 47-day long agitation, has announced extension of the bandh by one week till August 20 and Jail Baroo Andoolan from August 18. 'The curfew will continue. We will review the security situation later today and take necessary measure accordingly,' Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Sudershan Kumar Sharma told PTI on phone. 'Situation is tense but under control. No untoward incident was reported during the last 24 hours in the district,' he said adding that shoot-at sight orders is continuing. He said that a meeting of the both communities and senior citizens was called and people have been appealed to maintain communal harmony. 'Senior citizens are likely to take out a peace procession to bring down the tempers among both the communities,' he said adding 'we want to bring normalcy in the town.' Army, which took control of the mountainous town on Tuesday, staged flag marches this morning. Authorities also sent three companies of special forces of CRPF. In Jammu and Samba district, where curfew continues for the 14th day today, it was relaxed for 12 and five hours between 0500-0500 hours and 0500-1200 hours respectively. In Udhampur curfew was relaxed for seven hours from 0700-1400 hours. Curfew was imposed for the past 11 days in the area. People took out peaceful rallies and burnt tyres and effigies of Governor N N Vohra since this morning at several places in Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur districts. 'However, there were no violent clashes with police or army at any place. There were no violent protests,' police said. Leela Karan Sharma, president of the SASS, said a jail bharo andolan (court arrest agitation) would be launched from August 18. Over one lakh protesters would court arrest in the region on that day, he said.