KASHMIR : In a midnight development, Jammu and Kashmir government has removed Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police in the riot-hit Kishtwar district of Jammu while asking Divisional Commissioner of Jammu to hold a time-bound inquiry into Friday’s communal clashes.
Two persons, a Hindu and a Muslim, died and 80 others sustained injuries in the clashes in which over a hundred business establishments and vehicles were also torched.
Official sources said that the DC, Mohammad Saleem (IAS) was attached to General Administration Department and the SP, Sunil Gupta (IPS) to the Office of Director General of Police till further orders.
Baseer Khan has been appointed as the new DC and Sanjay Kumar Kotwal as the new SP of Kishtwar.
By another administrative order, Government has order closure of all educational institutions in Jammu province on Saturday.
Government has also appointed Divisional Commissioner of Jammu Shant Manu as an inquiry officer and directed him to complete an investigation into the Kishtwar turmoil and violence in a time-bound manner.
Government has also sanctioned ex-gratia relief of Rs. 5 lakh to the next of the kin of Arvind Kumar Bhagat who died in the communal clashes on Friday.
Hardline Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for a general strike on Saturday in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of communal clashes in Kishtwar town. “We appeal to people of the state to observe a general strike on Saturday against the biased approach of the state administration in dealing with the situation in Kishtwar,” spokesman if the amalgam Ayaz Akbar said.
He called the situation in the town as extremely ‘grave’. “The future course of action will be decided on Saturday after reviewing the situation in the affected areas,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, the Army had been called in and curfew imposed in Kishtwar after violence broke out in the city with protesters torching government and private properties after Eid prayers. Reports had also suggested that miscreants also pelted stones after Eid prayers following which clashes broke out between two communities leaving over 30 injured.
Muslim community in their hundreds had gathered at Chogan Ground Eidgah when some members of the Hindu community attacked them with stones. Eyewitness said the cleric appealed for calm and asked for the Eid prayer to be completed. ”When were in the middle of prayer they set fire to many cars parked outside,” he said. Soon after the prayers stone pelting began from both sides.
Moments later, the eyewitness called back to say that he saw a medical shop owner firing his gun at a Muslim youth who has been taken to a hospital with injuries.
“They are killing us openly,” he said.