Police officers, Magistrate among 12 injured in Doda clashes

Ex-minister Suharwardy says SHO abused, provoked people; 7 youth arrested

TAHIR NADEEM KHAN
Bhaderwah, Publish Date: Aug 12 2016 11:40PM | Updated Date: Aug 12 2016 11:40PM
Police officers, Magistrate among 12 injured in Doda clashesFile Photo

At least 12 persons including some police officials and a Magistrate were injured in clashes in Doda town of Jammu province on Friday afternoon, witnesses and reports said.

The clashes took place when police tried to arrest some youths after Friday congregational prayers, sources said.

According to reports, the situation turned tense when a group of youth started shouting pro-freedom and anti-government slogans while marching towards Markaz-i-Jamia Masjid (Central Mosque) after offering Friday prayers at Masjid-e-Noor.

Witnesses said police used brutal force without any provocation.

“There was no call for Bandh or a protest and people were going to home peacefully after offering the Friday prayers. But SHO Doda without any provocation started abusing people and using foul language. This instigated youth and the clashes erupted,” said former Minister of State (Home) and President of Markazi Seerat Committee Doda, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy.

“The attitude of SHO clearly indicates that he has a communal bent of mind which is a very dangerous sign in the given circumstances. The SHO should be transferred immediately and an inquiry be initiated into the entire incident.”

He also demanded that the arrested youths should be released immediately as all of them are innocent and have got nothing to do with the incident which was triggered by the “provocative remarks and abusive language of SHO Uday Wazir.”

On its part, police claimed: “When we tried to stop the youth who were very aggressive and trying to march towards the main market, they started pelting stones on the police. In this sudden stone-pelting, seven police officials and a Magistrate got injured. We tried to exercise maximum restrain but were left with no option but to use tear-gas shells and go for mild lathi-charge.”

According to reports, seven persons have been arrested by the police and four of them are injured.

The injured, they said, include Senior Superintendent of Police Doda, Zahid Naseem Manhas, DySP Headquarters A K Rounyal, SHO Doda Uday Wazir and Magistrate Dr Farooq Ahmed Kelam.

DySP Headquarter Doda, AQ Rounyal, said: “It’s not only civilians, but cops too who have been hurt with stones outside Jamia Masjid. “

“The youth were picked up for instigating people and raising anti-India slogans and action against them will be taken according to law,” he said.

Suharwardy, Imam of Jamia Majid, said: “Administration is not cooperating with us, they have detained youth without any reason and we want that they should be released immediately.”

Member of Legislative Assembly from Doda, Shakti Raj Parihar, said he is concerned over the situation in Doda and appeals people to maintain peace and harmony. He said Doda is “symbol of communal harmony and brotherhood which needs to be preserved.”

 

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