Bhaderwah tense: curfew continues, Army stays; no major clues in killing

Army deployed in Bhaderwah town on Friday. -Excelsior/Tilak Raj
Army deployed in Bhaderwah town on Friday. -Excelsior/Tilak Raj

Police recreates crime scene, finds contradictions
Complete bandh observed in Kishtwar
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, May 17: Indefinite curfew continued in Bhaderwah town of Doda district for second day today and Army remained deployed in all vulnerable areas staging flag march to maintain law and order even as no fresh untoward incident or violation of restrictions were reported from any part of the town.
Kishtwar town also observed complete bandh today in response to the call given by the Sanatan Dharam Sabha (SDS) and its affiliated wings in protest against the killings of BJP and RSS leaders and police failure to eliminate the militants involved in the crime.
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“Situation, though under control, remained tense in entire Bhaderwah town with majority community simmering over killing of Nayeem Shah and minorities angered over extensive loss caused to their property by the majority community without any provocation,’’ police said.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu Zone, MK Sinha told the Excelsior that curfew continued without any relaxation in Bhaderwah and Army remained deployed in all sensitive areas for second day today. There was no report of curfew being defied from anywhere, he said.
Sinha described as “totally wrong’’ a report telecast by some news channels that the killing of Nayeem Shah was the result of cow vigilantism. Rebutting such stories, he said neither the murder accused has been identified so far nor the motto of his killing was known.
“It will be totally premature to jump to any conclusion at this stage,’’ the Jammu Police chief said.
Nayeem Shah was killed while Yasir Khan was injured when pellets hit them at about 2 pm at Nalthi area of Bhaderwah on Thursday morning. Yasir has been hospitalized in injured condition but he was stated to be stable.
SSP Doda Shabir Ahmed Malik told the Excelsior that investigations have been fast-paced in the killing with top police officers visiting the spot and questioning people living in vicinity of the site of crime. Besides, eight persons detained yesterday by the cops including three on whom the injured and some other people had expressed doubts, were also being quizzed in the police station but, according to police, a breakthrough remained elusive.
Police have, meanwhile, ruled out the militant hand behind the killing saying the gun used in committing the crime was 12 bore muzzle loaded rifle, which is not used by the militants.
“We are working on various theories and a breakthrough could take some time as it was a complete blind and mystery killing,’’ they said.
Police said they were trying to hold meeting of prominent citizens of both communities to take assurance of maintaining peace and normalcy in Bhaderwah before giving relaxation in curfew in the town as there were apprehensions that mobs could resort to fresh protests if curfew is lifted immediately.
Sources said situation in Bhaderwah was still very tense though the day passed off peacefully without any incident.
It may be mentioned here that after the killing of Nayeem Shah, youth from majority community had damaged shops and houses of the minorities and torched couple of vehicles yesterday morning. Some youth from minorities had retaliated and pelted stones on property owned by the majority community after which authorities had imposed curfew in Bhaderwah town and deployed Army, which staged flag march.
Meanwhile, a complete bandh was today observed in Kishtwar town on a call given by the Sanatan Dharam Sabha to protest the killings of BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar, top RSS functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his PSO Rajinder Kumar and failure of the authorities to eliminate or apprehend the culprits.
Shops and business establishments owned by the minorities remained closed in protest against the killings. Only skeletal traffic was seen playing on the roads.
Authorities had made elaborate security arrangements to keep the bandh peaceful. Para-military CRPF and police personnel had been deployed in strength at sensitive places. However, bandh passed off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the town.
SSP Kishtwar Shakti Pathak monitored the situation.
Sanatan Dharam Sabha president Hans Raj Bhutyal told the Excelsior that the bandh call was given to impress upon the Government to ensure immediate arrest of the militants involved in the assassinations of the BJP and RSS leaders.
Bhutyal also reiterated the demand for removal of civil and police administration from Kishtwar saying to hide his failure, Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Angrez Singh Rana didn’t allow their delegation to meet the official delegation, which had visited Kishtwar town recently.