Curfew was imposed in Rajouri after people of two communities clashed over the exact content in a meat-carrying vehicle, following which the army stepped in and the district administration confirmed the consignment was not beef.
Rajouri District Magistrate Shabir Ahmed Bhat clarified on Thursday that camel meat was recovered from the commercial vehicle, adding the army was set to stage a flag march.
He cautioned people against spreading or believing rumors, especially on social media, on the vehicle-related meat controversy that began on Wednesday evening, leading to sloganeering, stone-pelting, ransacking of business and arson in parts of Rajouri town .
The district police, under SSP Rajeshwar Singh, are probing the matter. A case has been registered in the matter.
A local journalist said trouble erupted around 7.30pm when people from a minority community alleged that cow beef was being transported in a vehicle. To this, the majority community said it was camel meat being transported to the border town on the festival of Eid.
As tempers ran high, there were clashes at Jawahar Nagar of Rajouri, 150 km northwest of Jammu. Among the injured was photo-journalist Jamshed Malik.
Inspector-general (Rajouri Poonch range) Johny Williams, along with Rajouri DC, rushed to the spot to pacify both the communities and broker peace.
“The situation turned ugly amid allegations and counter-allegations,” Williams told HT. “That is when the army was called out.”
Sources said “at least three shops” were set ablaze.