Curfew in Rajouri town after VHP burns IS flag

Curfew in Rajouri town after VHP burns IS flag

 Muslims protest desecration of religious scripture  Army called in

Curfew was clamped in Rajouri town of Jammu division today and the Army called in to defuse tension over burning of Islamic State flag by Vishwa Hindu Parishad several days ago. Muslims said the flag bore Quranic verses.

Clashes were reported in parts of old city area as Muslim youths, while defying curfew, pelted stones at policemen.

About 15 people who were defying the curfew have been arrested, District Magistrate of Rajouri, Deepti Uppal, said, adding that the situation was being brought under control.

Army was also called and it carried out flag march late this afternoon.

“Restrictions under Section 144 of CrPc were imposed in the town for banning of assembly of four or over four persons, but still people are trying to violate the restrictions and it has become necessary to impose curfew restrictions in the town,” she said.

The situation is tense but under control after reports of burning of IS flag by some VHP activists some days ago here, police officials said.

Muslims in Rajouri have threatened to hold protests and bandh if the police do not arrest the VHP and Bajrang Dal activists for burning the flag bearing Quranic verses.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh has appealed for calm from both the communities.

“There should be no communal tension. We appeal to both the communities to observe calm,” he told reporters here.

But Singh ruled out arrest of VHP activists.

“As far as the setting afire the IS flags is concerned, it is a terrorist outfit symbol,” he added. “Is it (arrest) possible? Burning of the symbol of terrorists and anti-national elements is the work of nationalism.”

“They (VHP activists) cannot be arrested. This is not possible, why should we arrest them? Why should they be arrested,” he said.

However, clarifying that it had no intention to hurt the sentiments of Muslims, the VHP, on the other hand, asked the protesters to demonstrate against the IS for writing holy inscriptions on its flag.

“We had only burnt the IS flag. We did not know as to what was written on it in Persian,” the state VHP patron, Ramakant Dubey, said today.