MASSIVE PROTESTS ROCK CHENAB VALLEY REGION

Complete Shutdown In Doda, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah

ARIF MUNSHI

Kishtwar, Oct 30: Protests rocked entire Chenab valley on Tuesday over the alleged blasphemous content uploaded on social networking website Facebook with major townships including Kishtwar, Doda and Bhaderwah observing a complete shutdown.
The situation remained tense in this mountainous district on the second consecutive day today even as police arrested three persons, including two government teachers, for disturbing peace and creating law and order situation in remote Chatroo area, where massive protests broke out on Monday against the alleged sacrilegious contents on the internet.
Thousands of people from various villages of tehsil Chatroo took to streets and assembled at the tehsil headquarters on Tuesday staging massive protests, which continued throughout the day.
The protesters stormed police station Chatroo and staged sit-in within its complex demanding immediate action against the culprits.
Police last evening arrested three persons, Kishori Sharma son of Sohan Lal Sharma of Passarkote Chatroo, Banshi Lal son of Raj Ram of Khariyan and Keerti Sharma son of Moti Lal Sharma of Passarkote Chatroo for allegedly uploading the sacrilegious contents on Facebook, but the protesters demanded that even those who pelted stones on the members of a particular community should also be arrested and booked.
The district administration had a tough time in controlling the situation as the protesters refused to disperse despite assurances. The Dharna was lifted only when the police and civil administration assured that all persons responsible for creating such a situation will be booked by Friday.
The protesters also gave an ultimatum to the district administration to disband the Village Defence Committees (VDCs) active in the far flung areas of the district. They alleged that the administration has armed a particular community and often the VDC members were using official weapons to settle personal scores creating a sense of fear among the other community.
Meanwhile, the protests rocked entire Chenab valley region including Doda, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, and others parts.
All shops and other business establishments remained closed during the entire day while traffic was off the roads in all the major townships of the region.
Despite heavy deployment of police personnel, thousands of people took to streets and staged a protest demonstration at Nehru Chowk Doda. The protestors shouted pro-Islamic slogans and expressed resentment against the sacrilegious act, which according to them has hurt sentiments of a particular community.
After marching through main markets of the town, the protestors later assembled at Bus Stand Doda and blocked the main road for few hours.
Addressing the protesters, Senior Hurriyat leader Muhammad Shafi Rangrez condemned in strongest terms the sacrilegious act by the three youth of Kishtwar district. He said that the anti-Islamic elements had started a campaign against the community, which will not be tolerated.
Similar protests were also witnessed in some other parts of the region. However, the situation remained peaceful as no untoward incident was reported.
With inputs from Abid Pampori and Ali Faiz from Doda

Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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