Tension prevails in Bhaderwah town in Jammu where right-wing Hindu organisations took out a procession on Dusshera, allegedly with weapons. Local Muslims too took out protest marches after torn pieces of the Quran were allegedly found in the crackers that were burst during Dussehra. Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Bhaderwah, Sardar Sajjad Ahmad Khan told the media that the police had registered an FIR against the cracker-manufacturing company on the charges of hurting religious sentiments. A senior police officer told this newspaper that they have assured the Muslims that they would probe the incident. “But we will make arrests only if the allegations are proved to be true. We have moved additional forces to all sensitive localities of Bhaderwah to avoid any communal clashes,” the official said.
Bhaderwah is a communally sensitive town, with nearly an equal number of Hindus and Muslims.
Panic, tension and protests gripped the other sensitive towns of the Chenab Valley including Kishtwar, Doda and Banihal as rumours about the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran spread like wildfire in the entire region.
Jammu has been witnessing communal tension over the past several weeks, especially after the Jammu wing of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court passed an order banning beef. A petrol bomb attack on Kashmiri truckers in Udhampur, in which a teenager, Zahid Ahmad Bhat was killed, has also polarised the region.
The Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led state government is gathering information about the Dussehra procession in Bhaderwah, after some media reports claimed that the rally received police protection.
Inspector General of Police (Jammu Range) Danish Rana told this newspaper that the rally was stopped at Indira Chowk and was not allowed to go further.