Curfew continued in the communally sensitive Kishtwar of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday for the second day as police arrested one more person accused of alleged anti-national and criminal activities from the town on late Sunday night.
“Last night, the police raided a house in the town and arrested Raju Kelam against whom some FIRs were registered in the recent protests. He too had been found involved in raising anti-national and pro-Pakistan slogans and also been instigating people from a community,” a local said.
Abdul Qayoom Mattoo and Saif-ud-Din Bagwan, arrested under the Public Safety Act (PSA), were shifted to the high-security Kot Bhalwal prison on the outskirts of Jammu on Sunday and Firdous Ahmed Bagwan and Kelam are in the custody of Kishtwar Police. Kishtwar is at least 240km from Jammu.
“While there has been no relaxation in the curfew since Sunday morning, we will be reviewing the situation this evening. However, essential services are being allowed and we are also facilitating smooth conduct of inevitable things like funerals and weddings,” Kishtwar deputy commissioner, Ghulam Nabi Balwan, said.
Balwan added that the fourth accused Kelam has been arrested under various sections including 121, 124 and 153 of the Ranbir Penal Code. The sections slapped against Kelam largely pertain to sedition and inciting passions to cause riots.
Balwan also informed that the army has been kept on a standby.
After the arrest of Mattoo, Saif-ud-Din Bagwan and Firdous Ahmed Bagwan late on Saturday, some people attacked the Kishtwar police station at around 2.30am on Sunday with stones and shouted objectionable slogans. Following the stone pelting, police carried out a mild baton charge and clamped a curfew early on Sunday morning.
“Qari Manzoor, another imam who is also wanted by the Kishtwar Police has gone underground but we will find him soon,” a police source said.
“They all have connections with the Hurriyat Conference... These persons were under watch from a long time now,” he added.
The arrested people have been accused of allegedly inciting violence and becoming a threat to peace in the communally sensitive town after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8.
Over 80 people, including two cops, have been killed in the unrest that broke out a day after Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir.