Suhail A Shah
Protests broke out in South Kashmir’s Bijbehara town when a group of youth alleged that religious scriptures were found written over the paper used in fire crackers.
According to reports some children in Zirpora area of town were bursting crackers, and found religious scriptures written on the piece of paper used to wrap the fire cracker, after it exploded.
As the news spread, local youth many from adjoining areas came on streets and clashed with the police and the CRPF personnel, who were already deployed across the town in wake of a protest call extended by the separatist leadership.
To assess the situation and cool the tempers, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone, visited the town and met the locals at Jamia Masjid, where agitated locals demanded a probe into the matter and appealed that stringent action be taken against the fire cracker manufacturing company in question.
“We condemn this deliberate act of hurting the religious sentiments of Muslim community. We demand a probe into the matter,”Zia-ul-Haq, Imam of the Jamia Masjid said, while talking to the Lone. However when the Deputy Commissioner began to speak people intervened by raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
Lone, according to reports left the spot along with the police officials, while the locals took out a massive procession.
The Senior police officials from the area said that they are acting very cautiously as incidents of this type have the power to spark massive public outrage.
“We are keeping an eye on how things will unfold in the area,” said a senior police official. Sources in the police however reveal that curfew might be imposed if protests prolong.
As this report is being filed, people are coming out in large numbers in the area while clashes between youth and the police and paramilitary forces continue.