- By: Nasir Hussain Malik
Rajouri: Though curfew was relaxed for two hours in phased manner, there was no let up in the tension Sunday prevailing in this border township for the past four days.
Meanwhile, in a bid to defuse communal tension authorities have initiated dialogue with civil society groups of two communities.
Though there was no untoward incident reported from any part of the district, the curfew remained in force throughout the day today. The authorities relaxed the curfew for two hours in the evening in phased manner.
Initially the curfew was relaxed for two hours from 4 pm to 6 pm in old city areas, while in other areas the curfew was relaxed from 6 pm to 8 pm. Though the shops of only one community remained opened during the relaxation hours, the people rushed to the market to shop for essential items.
Sources said that around 8 youth were picked up by the police on Sunday for questioning. The police have so far rounded up more than 30 youth from various parts of the township but most of them were released after questioning.
SSP Rajouri Vijay Singh Sambyal said that there was no untoward incident reported from anywhere in the district so far and the situation was under control. Authorities had given one and half hour long curfew relaxation on Saturday in the outskirts of Rajouri town.
“Police and civilian authorities on Sunday initiated dialogue with members of both the communities to bring normalcy in the town. Meetings with both the communities were held and we hope to resolve the issue soon,” the SSP said.
“Additional security personnel have been deployed in sensitive areas of the town to maintain peace and tranquility,” he said adding that “patrolling in sensitive areas is on.”
Police as a precautionary measure had imposed curfew in the town on Thursday after clashes between two community prompting security personnel to lob tear gas shells to disperse them.
“We have already detained 13 persons in connection with the incident for questioning” SSP said adding “3 more were detained for violation of curfew.”
Tension gripped the township following a public meeting addressed by VHP president Pravin Togadia. The members of a particular community alleged that the remarks of Togadia during the public meeting had hurt the sentiments of the people.