Jammu, March 15: Over a dozen people, including six policemen, were injured Thursday when police resorted to a baton charge to disperse a procession in Jammu and Kashmir’s border town of Rajouri which has seen communal tension for over a week.
Police told IANS that about 200 people were demanding the release of Hindu community members arrested last week during communal clashes.
Police tried to stop them ‘as the town is already passing through communal tension’ and had to resort to a baton charge to disperse them ‘when they did not stop’, leaving over dozen people, including six policemen, injured, police officials said.
The authorities had to impose a curfew in view of Hindu-Muslim clashes March 8. Though day curfew has been relaxed, police sources described the situation as ‘still communally tense’.
Curfew was imposed after the authorities feared a rise in communal tension following Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia’s comments that were seen as ‘anti-Muslim’ by community leaders and prompted them to bring out protest marches.
Hindus retaliated by taking out counter protests. Matters worsened Wednesday evening when a local religious procession of Hindus was stoned.