Hate speech impact on Kashmir Valley & Jammu, communal tension reported

Ex BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s statements lead to protests, communal tension in several towns of erstwhile J & K

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Curfew has been imposed and Internet services have been suspended in major towns of Chinab valley region in Jammu and Kashmir after protests over objectionable social media post. There is also a spontaneous shutdown in Srinagar and the internet was suspended in the capital city as well. The J & K administration imposed curfew late Thursday evening in Doda district’s Bhaderwah town in Jammu division, following communal tension over some social media posts. There had also been a series of protests in the town. Restrictions banning the assembly of three or more people have also been imposed in Ramban district. The tension first erupted in Bhaderwah after some people in Jammu publicly endorsed controversial comments of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammad, the messenger of Islam. Detailed reports in The Times of India and other media publications have detailed the lead up to the events.

Just last week, on June 6-7, In the latest of such attacks on minority identity in the Kashmir valley, a temple in Bhaderwah in Doda district was found vandalised leading to angry protests in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir. PTI had then reported that the police have registered a case in connection with the alleged vandalisation at a temple in Doda district here that sparked protests in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, officials said. The police action comes after some pictures of alleged vandalism at Lord Vasuki Nag temple, situated at 17,400 feet Kailash Kund, reportedly surfaced on social media, they said. “A police team has already been deputed in the snow-bound area to ascertain the facts,” a senior police official said.

The communal temperature, already on display with these attacks now have flared up with the issue of the controversial statements against Prophet Mohammad.

The army has been called in to conduct a flag march in the town, stated some media reports. This was after after some people tried to create communal tension. The Muslim community had called for a shutdown in Bhaderwah town and had taken out the march to demand the arrest of suspended BJP national spokesperson, Nupur Sharma over her recent controversial remarks for which she was later suspended by the BJP. The Doda district administration has appealed media not to share any material that could affect communal harmony in the union territory.

This was followed by inflammatory speech and protest at a mosque in Bhaderwah area. When the procession culminated at Jamia Masjid in Bharderwah, two miscreants uttered some objectionable remarks against the community taking out the procession. Subsequently, a highly provocative blasphemous content surfaced on social media denigrating Islam which led to more protests and tension in the communally sensitive town. Members of the aggrieved community then tried to attack the house of the person who had posted on social media but police stopped the mob by blocking the road with barbed wire.
Police said action will be taken against anyone who violates the law and an FIR has been registered. But so far no arrests have been made over uploading blasphemous content.  Police said they were watching the situation closely and would act against anyone found disturbing law and order.

Meanwhile, political leaders have appealed for peace and asked community elders from both sides to maintain harmony.Union minister Jitendra Singh said he was deeply disturbed by the unpleasant situation in Bhaderwah.

“I am deeply disturbed by the unpleasant situation that developed in #Bhaderwah yesterday. I humbly appeal to the elders and the heads of the two communities to sit together to maintain the traditional harmony for which the beautiful town of Bhaderwah has always been known for ” tweeted Dr Jitendra Singh Minister in PMO.

Taking to Twitter, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said, “I hope cooler heads prevail. Jammu and Kashmir has enough problems without adding to them with communal tension spreading in and around Bhadarwah. I appeal to everyone to maintain calm and ask my party colleagues to help normalise the situation at the earliest.”




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