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Curfew in fresh Jammu region areas, Jaitley sent back
Sunday August 11, 2013 7:50 PM, IANS

Indefinite curfew continued for the third day Sunday in Jammu and Kashmir's trouble-torn Kishtwar town and curbs were imposed in Jammu city, Rajouri and other towns, while BJP leader Arun Jaitley was detained at Jammu airport and stopped from going to Kishtwar. Jaitley later flew back to Delhi.

The Amarnath Yatra was temporarily suspended and, in a bid to prevent the spread of rumours in the wake of Kishtwar communal violence, internet connectivity on mobile phones and dongle devices was snapped in the state.

A police officer told IANS that after violence in Kishtwar town, some miscreants were trying to disturb communal harmony in Jammu city and other parts of the district.

"Curfew has been imposed in parts of Jammu city and Rajouri town ... as a preventive measure," he said.

Curfew was imposed around midnight in areas like Gandhi Nagar, Pacca Danga, Bakshi Nagar, Pir Mitha, Trikuta Nagar, Janipur, Satwari, Channi Himmat, Bagh-e-Bahu and Nowabad in Jammu city.

During the day, curfew was also imposed in Kathua, Samba, Reasi, Katra and Udhampur towns of Jammu region, police said.

Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) condemned Jaitley's detention at Jammu airport to prevent him from going towards violence-hit Kishtwar.

BJP president Rajnath Singh said: "It seems the government is trying to hide something."

Party leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet: "Heard that Arun Jaitley and other opposition leaders are not allowed to go to Kishtwar. This is undemocratic."

Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti accused the state government of being a "silent spectator" to the unrest in Kishtwar. "They have been watching the situation and they have been doing nothing," she told reporters in Srinagar.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah accused some political parties of trying to exploit the situation and vowed to take strict action against those fomenting communal trouble.

He defended his government's decision not to allow Jaitley to proceed to curfew-bound Kishtwar town and send him back to Delhi.

"Has he visited other places in the country where communal clashes have taken place? Why single out Jammu and Kashmir and especially the Jammu region?

"Did they come to Kashmir when Shia-Sunni clashes took place here," asked the chief minister.

"My earnest appeal to the people is: Please do not allow parties who are putting political interest above human interest to exploit your sentiments and the situation," Abdullah told reporters in Srinagar.

"Please dismiss rumours as there are lots of them floating around, and cooperate with the administration. We will ensure that order is restored and justice done," he said.

He said the government had ordered an inquiry into Friday's violence in Kishtwar in which two people died on Eid-ul-Fitr day. The findings, expected in three weeks, would be made public.

The chief minister asked Hindus and Muslims to maintain calm in the Jammu region and justified his decision to keep away BJP leaders from the troubled spot.

"I will not blame any political party for the initial flare-up. But after the clashes, instead of helping the situation, they did exactly the opposite," he said, without naming any political party.

Indefinite curfew continued for the third day Sunday in Kishtwar town where violence Friday claimed two lives and property worth millions of rupees in clashes between two communities.

The army was called out to assist the civilian administration Saturday, and staged flag marches in Kishtwar town to instil confidence among the people.

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