The Indian army and police enforced a curfew in parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in an effort to restore calm after rioting between Hindu and Muslim communities left at least two people dead.
The state government imposed curfews in seven out of 10 of Jammu’s districts, Deputy Inspector General of Police Shakeel Beigh said in an interview. Security forces are patrolling streets, while roads into Jammu are closed and schools and colleges have been shut, he said. Parliament was adjourned today as lawmakers demanded a debate on the violence.
“The situation is under control and things are starting to return to normal,” Beigh said. “We will assess the situation and if things continue to remain calm then we will consider lifting the curfews today.”
Violence erupted between Hindus and Muslims after prayers to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Aug. 9 in the district of Kishtwar. Omar Abdullah, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, appealed for calm and announced that a judicial inquiry will be held into the clashes and said the report will be made public.
“We will do everything that is necessary to ensure that this trouble does not spread to other parts of the state,” Abdullah said yesterday. “Any people responsible for the deaths and the damage to property in Kishtwar areas will be brought to book and the most severe punishment handed out.”
The clashes followed tensions between India and Pakistan along the border in the disputed region of Kashmir after five Indian soldiers were killed last week. Pakistan’s foreign ministry in a statement rejected charges the nation’s military was involved as baseless and unfounded.
Authorities prevented senior politicians from traveling to the riot-hit area in a step described as necessary to ease tension. Arun Jaitley, a leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, was denied entry to the region of Kishtwar yesterday.
The anti-Muslim violence spread after a Muslim worshipper was burned to death and several others were injured by Hindu extremists and Indian army sponsored armed members of defence committees in Kishtwar town on Eid-ul- Fitr.
Curfew continued for the fourth day today without any relaxation in Kishtwar town.