Srinagar: A curfew was imposed in the town of Rajouri in Jammu and Kahmir after the situation there deteriorated on Tuesday afternoon with policemen clashing with the mob over the burning of an Islamic State's flag by the VHP.
Angry over the burning of the ISIS flag- which according to them - had Quran verses written on them, the local Muslims held a peace procession in the district in defiance of Section 144 of IPC.
The matter worsened when local Muslim youth interrupted the peace march and prssed on with the demand that those who burnt the flag be arrested.
What followed were ugly clashed between the police and the locals, with the former resorting to lathicharge and the protesters burning tyres and holding dharnas and putting up blockades.
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 was 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," the DM said.
The situation is tense but under control after reports of burning of ISIS 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 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.
With PTI Inputs