Curfews were imposed in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir and Bhadroh town in neighboring Doda district, and curfews were imposed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) in the rest of the Chenab Valley, including Ramban district, given the communal tension after the use of derogatory language from Accepted by some people belonging to both communities is detrimental to the religious feelings of both sides.
As a precaution, all internet services have been suspended in the Chenab Valley which includes Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts.
But officials said the situation was under control and talks were underway with leaders of the two communities to calm nerves.
Trouble reportedly broke out when hateful remarks were made against a particular sect during a protest march organized by members of the Bhadroh majority community. The rally was organized to demand the arrest of people, including BJP leader Yuva Morcha, for their alleged Facebook posts providing support to the arrested BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her statements against the Prophet Muhammad and his wife. Keshtwar Police registered an FIR in the matter and set up a special investigation team to investigate the case.
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Upon hearing the insulting remarks, a person from the Khakhal district of Bhadruwa town allegedly posted a picture of the Prophet and his wife along with his comments. Screenshots of this post spread like wildfire in the town of Bhadroa, as members of the majority community took to the streets demanding the arrest of the person behind the social media post. This led to a demonstration by members of the Bhadroa minority.
Sensing the unrest, the administration deployed reinforcements from the police and the Central Armed Police Force and imposed a curfew in the city.
However, protests led by Islamist Anjuman continued inside the Bhadroh Mosque building, with protesters saying authorities had plenty of time until Saturday morning to arrest the accused.
Kshtwar Deputy Commissioner Ashok Sharma said the curfew was imposed around 11pm on Thursday in light of the possible repercussions of the Bhadroh incidents.
Duda Deputy Commissioner Vikas Sharma said that with the exception of the curfew in Bhadroh town, curfew orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code banning gathering of four or more people in any public place were in effect in the rest of the district.
Also in the Ramban district, Section 144 of the Consumer Protection Act has been enforced. In the town of Batuti, police cars were seen moving and telling shopkeepers to close their shutters.
The situation was tense and the authorities did not want to take any risks given that the Islamic Anjuman had already issued a call for protests after Friday prayers.
Earlier, the police had registered a case against some unidentified persons for the alleged vandalism incident at a temple near Kailash Kund in Bhadroh.