Communal violence in Jammu, Poonch after suicide bombing

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Jammu, Feb 15 (IANS) Shops, vehicles and other property belonging to a particular community came under attack in Poonch and Jammu, forcing authorities to clamp curfew in Jammu, during a shutdown to denounce a suicide bombing that killed 49 CRPF troopers in the Kashmir Valley.

Authorities first imposed curfew and sought the Army’s help to restore order in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir where scores of youths protesting against the suicide attack torched some vehicles and smashed many more believed to be from the Valley.

Jammu District Magistrate Ramesh Kumar said curfew had been imposed in the entire Jammu city to maintain peace.

Police used tear smoke and batons to disperse the mobs. The curfew was imposed initially in Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar, Talab Khatikan, Janipur, Bakshi Nagar, Chenni Heemat, Bus Stand and some other places in old city area and later extended to the entire city.

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Violence also erupted in Poonch district, where too shops and vehicles belonging to a particular community were attacked in Aala Peer area, forcing police to use tear smoke and batons.

“People are advised to maintain calm and not play into the hands of anti-social elements who want to exploit the situation for their nefarious objectives,” a police officer said.

One of the 49 CRPF soldiers killed in Thursday’s suicide bombing in Pulwama was identified as Naseer Ahmad of Rajouri district in the state.

The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), an influential body of traders and industrialists, had earlier called a shutdown in Jammu city against the terror strike in the Valley’s Pulwama district on Thursday on a CRPF convoy.

Rakesh Gupta, President of JCCI, an influential body of local traders and industrialists, told IANS: “I appeal to the people belonging to different sections of the society to maintain the traditional harmony and brotherhood for which Jammu has been known ever since the fires of violence spread in the (Kashmir) Valley.”

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Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh attended the wreath laying ceremony of the troopers at the Humhama Regimental Training Centre of the CRPF in Badgam district.

Rajnath Singh co-chaired a meeting of the Unified Headquarters with Governor Satya Pal Malik here.

The Unified Headquarters is the apex anti-militancy grid in the state comprising top officials of the Army, central armed forces, local police and state and central intelligence agencies.

–IANS

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