Curfew imposed in Poonch after violent protests
31 wounded, 3 vehicles torched
DEMOS IN JAMMU, DODA, RAMBAN
SYED AMJAD SHAH
Jammu, Sept 13: At least 31 persons, including 25 policemen, were injured, while three vehicles and a depot of forest department were set ablaze following a violent clash which broke out in border township of Poonch in protest against the alleged desecration of Holy Quran in United States of America. Fearing more trouble, the district administration has also imposed curfew in the town and put army on standby.
The protests demonstration against the alleged sacrilegious act also broke out in other parts of the region including Jammu, Batote, Banihal, Bhaderwah and Doda with thousands of Muslims taking to street. Though officials claimed that the situation across the region was well under control, sources said that tension prevailed in some parts with people planning to hold more such protests.
Muslim community in Jammu has also given one day shut down call on Friday to express resentment against the act. The community leaders have also sought support from the other communities to make the call a success.
VOILENCE IN POONCH
Thousands of Muslims took to streets in border Poonch, Monday afternoon, against the alleged sacrilegious act. The protestors assembled outside a local school and marched towards a Christain Missionary school amid anti-America slogans.
A strong contingent of police and para-military personnel tried to stop the angry protestors leading to a clash. Police said that the mob pelted stones on the police forcing the later to resort to lathicharge and teargas shelling.
In the dingdong battle, which continued for around two hours, at least thirty-one persons, including 25 policemen, were injured, official sources said.
The protestors, which turned violent after clashing with the police, resorted to arson and set on fire at least three vehicles, including a fire brigade, which has reached the spot to extinguish fire set by the protestor. Police fired several rounds in air to disperse the mob.
Though the protestors, later dispersed, the district administration immediately called up more troopers to avoid any further violence. Curfew was imposed in the township, while army was put on standby.
The district administration was engaging some senior citizens and religious leaders of the town to defuse the situation and to restore normalcy in the border area.
Deputy Commissioner (Poonch) Kuldeep Raj Khajuria, when contacted, told Greater Kashmir that at least 25 police personnel were injured in stone pelting.
“The protesters were unorganized and they were not led by any one. The Muslim youth on their own, had gathered and protested. We have sought help of senior citizens and religious leaders to diffuse the tension,” he said.
The administration, he said, has imposed curfew in the town in view of the strike called for tomorrow.
DIG, Poonch-Rajouri range, S D Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir that the police was forced to fire some tear smoke shells when the protestor tried to march towards a Christian Missionary school.
The DIG appealed the people to be peace full as the reports of discretion of Holy Quran was merely rumors.
While violence broke out in Poonch, widespread peaceful protest demonstrations rocked other parts of Jammu region, including Jammu city.
Hundreds of protestors took to streets in winter capital of the state at Shaheedi Chowk on Monday morning. The protestors staged a sit-in blocking the vehicular traffic for nearly half-an-hou.
The protestors, led by MS Sartaj and Hilal Baig, raised anti-America slogans and burnt the national flag of USA.
Members of Muslim community from Gujjar Nagar and Talab Khatikan also took out protest, while the shops and other business establishments in both the localities remained closed in protest.
Senior Hurriyat leader in Jammu MS Sartaj told Greater Kashmir that the government of India should express its resentment with their counter part in America, as the act has hurt the sentiments of Muslim across the world.
The members of Shia community led by Ashiq Hussain also took out demonstration from Karbala ground near Tehsil Road.
However, they were not allowed by the cops to move towards the Shaheedi Chowk and were stopped by police outside the official residence of Chief Minister.
The protestors later staged dharna in middle of the road for nearly half-an-hour.
Similarly, the residents of Ustad Mohalla also staged anti-US protest demonstration on Palace road near Kachi Chowni, here this evening.
Reports from Doda added that over three hundred people took out protest march from Jama Masjid Doda, amid anti-US slogans against the dishonoring of the holly book. The protest rally culminated at deputy commissioner’s office (Doda), after passing through Jama Masjid, Bus Stand, and Faridia Mohalla.
Though the protests remained peaceful in the district headquarter, reports suggests that the tension prevailed in the area as people were planning to hold similar protests in the days to come.
Peaceful protest demonstrations were also held in Ramban, Banihal, Batote, Kastigar and Mandi area of Poonch.
Report from Ramban said that over four thousand people assembled in the town and staged a noisy protest against America.
The demonstrators were shouting slogans against the US. Led by local Imams the protestors later resorted to pro-freedom sloganeering.
People in Chanderkot and Batote, also took out protest demonstrations and burnt tyres on the road. The protesters urged the Government of India to suspend all the ties with US to protest the incident which has hurt the hearts of Muslim community.
(With inputs from Shafiq Mir from Rajouri, Sheikh Nasir from Doda and Muhammad Taskeen from Ramban)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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