Curfew Lifted From 7 Districts Of Jammu

Curfew Lifted From 7 Districts Of Jammu

15 August 2013
Rising Kashmir
Asem Mohiuddin

Srinagar: Authorities Thursday lifted curfew from seven districts of Jammu division following significant improvement in the situation. Kishtwar, however, continued to remain under curfew with a relaxation of four hours. Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami is scheduled to visit the state on Friday to assess the situation on ground in the backdrop of communal clashes that erupted in Kishtwar on August 9 before engulfing other parts of Jammu. Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Shantumanu told Rising Kashmir that curfew was lifted following substantial improvement in situation in Jammu division and in view of the August 15 celebrations. “Except Kishtwar district, curfew was lifted from all the districts in Jammu division after the situation was assessed on ground,” he said, adding four hours of relaxation was given in Kishtwar. He, however, said night curfew would be imposed at all places as a precautionary measure. “In case the situation remains calm, we will also lift the curfew from Kishtwar after reviewing the situation on ground.” Curfew was imposed on August 9 after communal clashes erupted, leaving three people dead and scores injured. A total of 68 shops, seven hotels and 35 vehicles were damaged as rioters went on a rampage. The authorities decided to lift the curfew after no untoward incident was reported from anywhere and the August 15 function passed off peacefully. Shantmanu said the local administration in Kishtwar has been organizing various meetings with political and civil society groups from both the communities to defuse the crisis. He, however, threatened to by-pass all the political parties who boycott the meetings organized by local administration to defuse the crisis. “If there is any political group refusing to cooperate with district administration, we will sideline them and invite small civil society groups to ensure peace in the region,” Divisional Commissioner Jammu said. To reach out to the people for lasting peace in the region, Shantmanu is also visiting Kishtwar in next few days. “It is quite unfortunate that such clashes occurred at a place where people from both the communities lived in harmony for centuries. I will visit the district in next few days once the situation is completely normal in other places. In the meanwhile, the Union Home Secretary is visiting the state to assess the prevailing situation,” he said. Shantmanu said after the return of normalcy in other parts of Jammu, the entire focus would be shifted to Kishtwar. “Our main focus was to stop the tension spreading in adjacent areas and we have largely succeeded in that. Since the normalcy was restored in all areas, now the government will focus on Kishtwar fully.” BJP has also called off its strike call from Friday. Chamber of Commerce and Industries, which has been seeking compensation for all the traders whose shops were looted and damaged in the riots, has also decided to call off the strike. Meanwhile, as per the official statement issued by Divisional Administration, all educational institutions in Jammu region will reopen on Monday.