Kashmir unrest reaches Jammu’s Kishtwar, curfew imposed

September 26, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kashmir, September 26, 2016: As the latest unrest and subsequent curfews enter the third month in Kashmir, the situation seems to be turning out of hand, with violence spreading to Kishtwar district of Chenab valley.

The erstwhile district erupted in protest in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, when J&K Police had gone to arrest some religious figures who were named in an FIR pertaining to pro freedom and anti India slogans raised on the eve of Eid Al Adha earlier this month.

In the intervening night of 24th and 25th September, forces raided residences of two prominent religious figures of the district, Qari Manzoor Hussain Ganai and Maulvi Abdul Qayoom Matoo, besides the houses of two other persons. They were able to arrest Abdul Qayoom Matoo, whereas Manzoor Hussain Ganai wasn’t present in his house at the time of raid.

“The word about the Imam’s arrest spread like a fire in the town as the announcement was announced on loudspeakers, which prompted people to come on the road to protest against the move. The policemen chased protesters with sticks and use of non lethal weapons,” Waqqas Ahmed from Kishtwar informed TwoCircles.net.

In the view of deteriorating law and order situation in the town, the authorities decided to impose curfew in the morning.

“Before Fajar prayer, the louder speakers on police vehicles announced the imposition of curfew and asked the residents not to venture out of their home,” Ahmed added.

According to the TCN sources, the district administration Kishtwar was initially apprehensive on arresting the persons named under the FIR citing vitiating of the atmosphere in the district. Later a new Station House Officer was posted in the town, who decided to arrest accused persons in nocturnal raids during nights, a pattern which is followed by the security forces during the prevailing unrest in the valley.

As per the latest reports, the curfew is still in place with no breaks.

“We are confined to our homes since today morning. There is huge presence of forces in the town,” said Adil Khan, a resident of Kishtwar town.

Importantly, the arrests were carried in connection with an FIR registered under sections 124 A (Sedition), 120 B (Criminal Conspiracy), and 153 A (Promoting Religious Enmity) at Police Station Kishtwar against 18 persons who were named for raising anti India slogans besides provoking youths on the eve of Eid Al Adha.

Districts in Chenab valley comprises of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar districts which have a mixed Hindu-Muslim population. Kishtwar has been observing frequent shutdowns since last two months against the excessive use of force on people in Kashmir as well as for resolution of the problem.

Last month in Doda district, police had arrested a prominent advocate, social activist and human rights defender, Babar-ul-Islam Nehru from Saah Mohallah and alter booked him under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).

– tcn

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