Press Trust of india

Curfew imposed in Bhadarwah after alleged cow vigilantes kill man

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Bhaderwah/Jammu/ Srinagar, May 16: Curfew was clamped in communally-sensitive Bhaderwah valley in Doda district on Thursday after members of a community attacked a police station and damaged several vehicles in protest against killing of a person who, they alleged, was killed by “cow vigilantes”..

The Doda district administration, however, ruled out cow vigilantism as the reason behind the murder and said that some people were trying to give communal colour to the incident to flare up the situation.

The authorities have blocked Internet services in the district.

Reports said a group of three persons were heading towards their native Mohalla Qilla area of Bhaderwah along with their cattle when they were fired upon at 2 am (during preceding night) by alleged cow vigilantes near Nalthi village.

In the attack, Nayeem Ahmad Shah (50) was killed on spot while two of his associates managed to escape with minor injuries.

“One person with the name of Nayeem (Ahmad Shah) was coming from Chatergala side during midnight. When he reached near Nalthi area, he was killed and another person with him suffered splinter injuries (in a firing incident),” PTI quoted IGP Jammu Zone, M K Sinha as saying.

He said that two suspects, who allegedly opened fire, have been arrested and five others have been detained.

The body was sent for post-mortem, he said adding the reason behind the firing incident in the area was being investigated.

The killing triggered protests as a large number people belonging to a community, including the kin of the deceased, pelted stone on Bhaderwah police station. They damaged several vehicles and set afire a three-wheeler, officials said.

The protesters also pelted stones on premises belonging to another community, forcing police to cane-charge and use teargas shells to disperse the mobs.

The relatives of the deceased alleged that he was victim of cow vigilantism and was targeted as he was involved in cattle trade.

Residents of Nalthi village told the police that two to three persons were found moving under suspicious circumstances at around 2 am in the area which led to the firing.

Deputy Commissioner of Doda, Sagar Doifode, said, “There is no cow vigilantism involved in this incident. It is not such an incident. Some people are deliberately giving it a communal colour.”

He said that police are investigating the case and asked the people not to spread rumours.

“The situation is tense but under control. Curfew has been imposed in the town,” the IGP said.

Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh, president of Anjuman-e-Islamia Bhaderwah, has given a call for shutdown and accused the saffron outfits of being behind the incident.

Sanatan Dharam Sabha (SDS), Jammu condemned the violent protests and alleged the community which is in minority in the area was being targeted.

“We suspect this is a well planned and coordinated action of anti-social and anti-national elements to disturb the peaceful situation in Bhaderwah area,” a spokesman of SDS said.

Senior officials of administration, police and the army were camping at Bhaderwah to assess the situation.

Authorities have appealed to the people to remain calm and assured them that all the culprits will be brought to book.

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