Day curfew lifted in Rajouri

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 13: Day curfew was lifted in Rajouri town today following improvement in the situation even as dialogue between the two communities was on to restore calm in the trouble-torn area.

“We have lifted curfew from 8 am in the border town in view of improvement in the situation,” Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri GA Khwaja said, adding night curfew would remain in force for the time being.

“No untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the district so far and the situation is under control,” he said.

In view of improvement in the situation, the authorities had relaxed curfew for eight-hour yesterday.

To restore normalcy in the town, leaders of the two communities met here in the presence of Industry and Commerce Minister Surjeet Singh Slathia and Minister of State for Power Shabir Khan. Initially, they met the Ministers separately and then collectively.

Senior police and civil officials were also present at the meeting.

The minorities insisted on arrest of the persons involved in attack on their religious Bhairav procession before opening their shops. The Ministers assured them that law will take its course as FIRs have been registered.

The minorities didn’t open their shops during curfew relaxation demanding immediate arrest of those, who instigated and attacked their religious procession.

“Several meetings with leaders of both the communities were held to resolve the matter. The religious heads also made appeals to the people to maintain calm,” official sources said.

Curfew was clamped on the town on last Wednesday after some unidentified persons pelted stones at a religious procession, prompting security personnel to burst tear gas shells to disperse them.

The stone-hurlers were protesting against VHP national working president Praveen Togadia’s recent remarks, which, they alleged, had hurt sentiments of a particular community.