Indefinite curfew was imposed in Samba district after a mob of zealot Hindus torched houses of Muslims in the area. The mob also tried to burn houses in Bardian village near Vijaypur town, which was foiled by the police. The situation in Jammu district remained tense. Even after the imposition of curfew in Jammu, more than 50 people and same number of police personnel were injured in separate clashes on the third day of protests in Jammu. Police arrested more then 30 protesters including the leaders of BJP and VHP for violating curfew orders. The Hindu parties including Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), BJP, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal were protesting against the revocation of the transfer of forest land to SASB. The clashes started early in the morning as the protesters started gathering in old Jammu city.
The activists of Bajrang Dal and other extremist Hindu organizations selectively targeted Muslims at many places in district Rajouri, making the situation more tense. Though most of the victims managed to escape from the clutches of these extremist elements but one of them has been seriously injured and is under treatment at district hospital Rajouri. The administration has further strengthened the security system keeping in view the deteriorating law and order position in the district.
Sources said an ambulance belonging to district hospital Rajouri was on its way to Jammu with a patient. This ambulance was carrying a Hindu family. But on reaching Hasyote area of Sunderbani tehsil, the activists of Bajrang Dal conducted identification parade of all persons on board.
After they came to know that the driver of the vehicle was a Muslim and his name was Taj Hussain, they started beating him mercilessly with rods. This continued for nearly 20 minutes till he fell unconscious. Half an hour later he was shifted to hospital by a Hindu who was accompanying him in the ambulance. His condition is still critical.
Many such incidents have been reported from other parts of the district. Khurshid Ahmed Tantray of Palma village told Greater Kashmir over phone that four shops belonging to Muslims were damaged and looted in Palama village. A bus carrying Madrassa students while passing through Jawaharnagar area was stoned by Bajrang Dal activists last night. With these incidents pouring in from the far flung areas of the district, a sense of insecurity has developed among the Muslims residing in the Hindu majority areas.
Keeping in view the degrading law and order situation in the district, the district administration called separate meetings of both the communities on Wednesday and asked them to remain peaceful beside strengthening the security system in an around the town. Giving details of the meeting with the district administration, Abdul Qayoom Dar, heading the Muslim delegation, said they have narrated the incidents and selective attacks carried by Bajrang Dal activists on Muslims. Dar said if these attacks were not stopped, the government will be responsible for the consequences.
On being contacted, District Development Commissioner Rajouri, Rafiq Ahmed Sheikh, said the situation was tense. Expressing concern over the selective attacks, human rights activist Ajaz Ahmed Mirza said he has received dozens of complaints of selective attacks by Bajrang Dal activists.
Meanwhile, Muslims in Surankote area of Poonch took out a strong procession in the town on Wednesday raising anti-BJP and anti-Bajrang Dal slogans for their anti-Muslim activities. The protestors warned the government of dire consequences if the Hindu extremist organizations are not controlled from attacking Muslims.
Thousands of Muslims of Surankote tehsil gathered in bus stand area to express their displeasure over the attitude of Hindu organizations giving communal shape to the Amarnath land issue. Prominent among those who addressed the gathering were Tariq Ashraf, Tariq Manhas, Master Hanief, Abdul Rashid Zargar, Hamid Manhas, Qazi Irshad and Dr. Mumtaz Hussain Shah.-SANA