Curfew in Kishtwar district after communal clashes; 1 dead, 24 hurt

One person was killed and over 24 were injured in clashes between two communities in Kishtwar town of Jammu region on Eid-ul-Fitr Friday after about 500 villagers raised pro-independence slogans.

Updated: Aug 09, 2013, 22:25 PM IST

Jammu: One person was killed and over 24 were injured in clashes between two communities in Kishtwar town of Jammu region on Eid-ul-Fitr Friday after about 500 villagers raised pro-independence slogans.

The mobs torched over two dozen shops, some vehicles, a petrol pump and government offices before the army was called in to clamp an indefinite curfew in the town.

Police sources said members of the mobs fired at each other, in which one person was critically injured and later died.

"Neither security forces nor the Army fired at the mobs. Two columns of the army were moved in after the situation turned ugly. The town is calm now after an indefinite curfew was imposed," a police officer told IANS.

Immediately after reports of the communal clashes, state Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Prasad, Commissioner (Home) Suresh Kumar and additional DGP (Coordination) PL Gupta rushed to Kishtwar to take stock of the situation and supervise law and order.

Police exercised caution, using only batons and tear gas shells to disperse the rioters, who continued to indulge in violence despite police intervention.

On the district administration`s request, two columns of the army were deployed.

The trouble started early Friday on Eid-ul-Fitr when a procession of around 500 people from Hullar, Bandna, Punoo and Bhata villages took out a procession in Kishtwar town, 220 km from winter capital Jammu, raising pro-independence slogans.

This prompted members of another community to pelt stones at the procession at Kulid chowk in the town.

As the news of the clashes spread to the Eidgah grounds where people had gathered to offer Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, many of them joined the violence.

IANS