Govt orders probe, partial bandh across Jammu region

Vishal Sharma

While appealing people to maintain calm, Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat today said the state government has ordered a thorough probe into the alleged ‘Desecration act,’ which triggered sporadic violent protests.

Meanwhile, the situation remained tense, but under control in the city.  In a bid to handle the crisis, all 22 youth arrested by police, were also released unconditionally. Bhagat, who is a representative from the government side to handle the situation, landed in Jammu and held a marathon meeting with Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Pawan Kotwal, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu Danish Rana and representatives from VHP, Bajrang Dal and other organisations at PWD Guest House Jammu.

Later talking to media persons, the Minister said, “All the 22 youth arrested by police late last night during protests have been released unconditionally. Besides, the government has also ordered a thorough probe in the case.” Police sources said, ”Taking cognizance in this regard, police have also started investigations on whether the arrested accused Mohammad Yasir, of Shiva, Doda is mentally unsound (which was claimed by his brother)  or not.

”Police have arrested the accused, besides detaining his brother for questioning, police said, adding, ” his (accused) case history will be  probed carefully.” VHP leadership showed its satisfaction over the government action and also appealed to maintain calm and peace. The leadership, after visiting the temple where the sacrilege was reported, had demanded early release of the arrested youth and a thorough probe in the matter.

Meanwhile, stray incidents of mild stone pelting to enforce bandh were reported from Lower Muthi, Janipur, Sarwal Morh and other localities, in protest against desecration act were reported from the ancient Shiva temple, popularly known as Aap Shambu Temple, situated at Roopnagar in Janipur in the city outskirts.

Though, a complete band was observed in Janipur area where all the shops and business establishments remained closed as a mark of protest against the incident with public transport virtually off from the  roads. While in the rest of the city, partial band was observed with some shops closed in Old City, Parade and Raghunath Bazar.

Assessing sensitivity of situation, district administration snapped the mobile internet services besides ordering all the wine shops and Bars of Jammu district to remain closed till further orders. Meanwhile a mild scuffle among the police and protestors also took place at Raghunath Bazaar and Miran Sahib Area of R. S Pura Tehsil where protestors were enforcing band and had blocked the main road respectively.

Later in a bid to handle the crisis, the state administration conceded to the demands of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and released all 22 youth unconditionally who were arrested by the Janipur police last night. VHP leadership after the meeting showed its satisfaction over the government action and appealed to maintain calm and peace.

Earlier the leadership has demanded suspension of accused ASI and SHO Janipur besides release of all 22 youths arrested last night. On being asked about the youth, Dr. Jagdish Thappa today said that the accused was not his patient and fabricated stories are being made to neutralize the issue. He said that accused has vandalized the temple. “I have even told to IG Jammu Danish Rana that accused was not my patient and no medical history of him is available with me,” added Thapa.

He said that it is better to get him medically examined to ascertain his actual mental state instead of making fabricated stories that he was my patient. Massive protests erupted outside Janipura police station last evening as agitated people, protesting against the damage caused to the historic ‘Aap Shamboo temple’ in Roop Nagar, later went on the rampage and torched two buses.

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