Asif Iqbal Naik
Kishtwar district continues to remain under curfew for the third consecutive day. Barring few incidents in remote Padder Tehsil of Kishtwar District, police sources said the situation remained peaceful.
After two deaths on the first day of the sectarian clashes, one more person was found dead in Gulabgard area of Padder Tehsil.
As per police, one Lassa son Amadu Khandey resident of Kijayae Padder was allegedly kidnapped by the rioters last night from police station Gulabgard, where he had reportedly taken shelter after he (Lassa) was caught in the communal storm.
The local people informed Kashmir Life that the rioters, after being pushed by the army and police from Muslim dominated area of Kijayae in the evening again tried to march towards the same area, but they were sent back by Army and police.
In three hour long battle between government personals and rioters, SHO Padder Saroop Singh and SDPO Armed police Hamid Chowdhary were injured. SHO was injured due to stone pelting, while SDPO got severely injured after he was caught by the rioters, later rescued by the police and army.
The police sources further added that after being pushed 2nd time, the rioters mixed with members of VDC trained their guns at police station Padder and opened indiscriminate firing and pelted stones on police station Gulabgard. “While running for the covers, the rioters got hold of Lassa and his dead body was later found near Gulabgard helipad in the wee hours of Sunday morning,” sources said. After receiving the news about the presence of body at helipad Gulabgard, police and officials of civil administration rushed to the spot and took the custody of the body.
Meanwhile the three persons carrying the bullet injuries in yesterday clashes at Kijayae Padder were airlifted to army command hospital Udhampur. The condition of the two among the three injured persons was said to be critical.
The three injured have been identified as Mohammad Aiyaz, Altaf Hussain and Mushtaq Ahmed Khandey
However Army today cleared 182 vehicles and 7 motorcycles carrying nearly 1500 Machail yatra pilgrims who were struck on Kishtwar-Padder road since Friday. Army in last two days is reported to have cleared nearly 4000 pilgrims safely.
As per army sources, no pilgrims is stranded on Kishtwar-Padder as of now.
As per reports people in different parts of the District felt shortage of medicines as nearly 11 medicine shops were burnt by the rioters on Monday, beside there was also a shortage of essential commodities like milk and vegetables.