Kishtwar Under Curfew For 11th Day

Kishtwar Under Curfew For 11th Day

19 August 2013
Greater Kashmir


Kishtwar: Curfew continued for the 11th day Monday in edgy Kishtwar town of Jammu, with brief relaxation in some areas, although the authorities said the situation was fast returning to normal. Official sources revealed that the situation was returning to normal even as the administration failed to break the ice between the members of two communities. “In view of the improvement in the situation curfew was relaxed for two hours in one part of the town and similar relaxation was later given in other parts”, the official said adding that the relaxation passed off peacefully as no untoward incident was reported from anywhere. A team of ministers headed by Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand was in the town for two days and held detailed meetings, separately, with the representatives of both the communities. However, both sides remained adamant on their demands. ALL PARTY DELEGATION CONVENES MEETINGS With an effort to restore peace, the state government, meanwhile, deputed an All Party Delegation (APD) to the district on Monday. The delegation, comprising leaders from various political parties, arrived here today afternoon and started deliberations with the local representatives of a particular community. However, the largest opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was not a part of the delegation as, according to party sources, it was not invited by the government. “We have no information about any such delegation. We were not informed by the government so how could we be part of it”, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told Greater Kashmir. The delegation includes Minister of Tourism and Congress leader GA Mir, Minister for Planning and National Conference (NC) leader Ajay Sadhotra, Congress legislator Ravindra Sharma, NC leader Surjit Singh Salathia, NC legislator Devender Singh Rana, former Congress MP Janak Raj Gupta, BJP legislator Ashok Khajuria, BJP leader Nirmal Singh, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party leader Balwant Singh Mankotia and Samajwadi Party leader Sheikh Abdul Rehman. The delegation held a meeting with the representatives of minority community, which is said to have repeated the demands projected before the ministerial team. Insiders said the meeting was stormy as those presents targeted the ruling parties for “shielding officers responsible for laxity”. The meeting, which started this evening, was in progress when the last reports came in. The delegation was also scheduled to meet with the members of majority community but it was later decided that meeting will be held on Tuesday morning. SCHOOLS, COLLEGES REOPEN IN JAMMU Meanwhile, all educational institutes in Jammu region reopened today after remaining closed for 10 days due to communal clashes in Kishtwar and subsequent imposition of curfew in several districts. All educational institutions including Jammu University reopened today, a government spokesman said. However, the institutions in trouble-torn Kishtwar district continued to remain closed due to the curfew. The divisional administration, on August 9, had ordered closure of all government and private schools and colleges in the region from August 10, he said. The step was taken in view of communal violence in Kishtwar on August 9 in which three people were killed and over 20 others injured, the spokesman said, adding that 75 shops and 35 vehicles were also damaged in arson.