Dozen hurt in clashes, 54 held

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, June 16: Tension gripped the North Kashmir district of Bandipora today following reports of alleged desecration of holy Quran at a remote Tragbal village. A police officer and over a dozen of protesters were injured during clashes that broke out this morning.
Police have registered an FIR (106/2012 under Section 295 RPC) and are investigating the case. Around 54 people, mostly Border Roads Organization labourers were detained by police to investigate the case.
Reports reaching here said that incident took place at a remote Tragbal village on Bandipora-Gurez road. Reports revealed that on Thursday evening there were clashes between two groups of BRO labourers at Tragbal. In the morning, one of the labourer groups reported to the local Masjid that Holy Quran was desecrated in Tragbal.
The news about the alleged desecration spread in the nearby villages resulting in protests in some of the villages yesterday. The people in Dawar village in Gurez held a peaceful protest demonstration yesterday and police and local administration managed to control it.
But today the news of the alleged desecration spread to other areas including Bandipora town resulting in clashes between police and protesters at several places. The protests were reported from villages of Sunarwani, Kaloosa, Nadihal, Aham Sharief, Manrigam and Bandipora town.
Raising religious slogans, the demonstrators demanded immediate arrest and punishment of those responsible for hurting the religious sentiments. The demonstrators also clashed with police in the town, where shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads. Work in Government offices and educational institutions also remained affected.
A Sub-Inspector of the Jammu and Kashmir Police Ghulam Mohammad Dhobi and driver of a police vehicle Ghulam Mohammad War were injured in stone pelting. Over a dozen protesters were also injured in police lathi-charge and tear-smoke shelling. The SI was shifted to Srinagar for treatment.
The protesters also damaged the vehicle of the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) that is constructing Kishanganga Power Project in Bandipora.
A top Government official in the district said that they have not been able to locate the person who saw the desecration of the holy Quran. He said that dozens of persons have been rounded up and investigations are going on.