Jammu/Srinagar: The alleged desecration of an ancient temple in Jammu triggered violence as protesters from right-wing groups torched vehicles and threw stones at cops who responded with lathicharge and teargas shells late on Tuesday night. Mobile internet services were suspended in all 10 districts of Jammu on Wednesday after a video clip showing the alleged defacement went viral on social media.
The police arrested Mohammad Yasir, reportedly a mentally challenged youth who had escaped from an asylum, for allegedly vandalising the Aap Shambhu temple in Roop Nagar area.His brother Tanvir Ahmad was detained as well. Police said a probe was on to ascertain Yasir’s mental illness.
A cop who refused to file a case against Yasir and allegedly misbehaved with complainants, including the temple priest, was suspended, and 22 youngsters arrested for the violence were released unconditionally.J&K health minister Bali Bhagat met top police officers besides representatives from right-wing groups.
Trouble started when Yasir allegedly barged into the temple, threw stones, ransacked the premises, and desecrated the idols.Violence broke out after worshippers rushed to a nearby police station where head constable Rehmat-Ullah allegedly refused to register a case and instead misbehaved with them, claimed complainants.
The administration ordered a probe and held a meeting of prominent Hindu and Muslim citizens to help normalise the situation. “Barring a few incidents of protests by locals, everything is okay,” said Jammu deputy commissioner Simrandeep Singh.
CM Mehbooba Mufti appealed for calm, adding that some elements were “hellbent” on creating communal tension in the region. “Separatism and communalism are the two faces of the same coin,” she said.