Srinagar: Curfew was imposed in Bhaderwah valley of Jammu and Kashmir’s eastern Doda district on Thursday following protests and incidents of violence over the killing of a local resident allegedly by ‘cow vigilantes’.
The police said that it has detained seven persons for questioning but the main accused is absconding.
Reports received here said that 50-year-old Nayeem Ahmed Shah was shot dead by assailants in Kathi- Nalthi Pull locality of Bhaderwah around 2 am on Thursday, using a ‘desi’ (country-made) gun. Shah was along with another person returning home in Mohalla Qilla of Bhaderwah along with a herd of cattle. In the shooting incident, Shah died on the spot while as his associate escaped with minor injuries.
The murder sparked off widespread protests and outrage in Bhaderwah, forcing the district administration to impose curfew in the picturesque town also known as ‘Chota Kashmir’ and surrounding villages.
The police sources said that a group of violent protesters hurled rocks at the local police station where the suspects had been brought for questioning. Violent mobs torched two auto rickshaws and a motorcycle in Bhaderwah’s Seri Bazaar, Takia Chowk and Pasri Bus Stand areas, the witnesses said.
The police sources said that the detainees have claimed that they opened fire after they found the men roaming under suspicious circumstances in the area on Wednesday night. However, the local Muslims including the family of the deceased termed it “cold-blooded murder” and alleged that the same was committed at the behest of the BJP, RSS and Shiv Sena “goons” who are hell bent to polarize the situation in Bhaderwah.
In view of the alarming situation, the Deputy Commissioner Doda Sagar Doifode, SSP Shabir Ahmed Malik and Commander of 4 Sector of Army Rashtriya Rifles Brig N.J.Singh have rushed Bhadarwah to assess the situation.
Bhaderwah which has almost 50:50 populations of Hindus and Muslims is politically as well as communally sensitive area. While Bhaderwah was immediately brought under indefinite curfew, security has been beefed up in neighbouring Doda and Kishtwar towns “as a precautionary measure”, the officials said.
Meanwhile, Irfan Ahmed Sheikh, among two activists of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) shot at by suspected militants in Zainapora of the Kashmir Valley’s southern Shopian recently succumbed to his injuries in a Srinagar hospital on Thursday. The police said that Sheikh and the other PDP activist Muzafar Ahmed Bhat were targeted by gunmen after taking them along to a nearby orchard from their chemist shop in Zainapora on May 8.