Chenab Valley Shuts Down, Protesters Block Kashmir Highway


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Another Accused Held In Blasphemy Video Case

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir police has arrested the third accused in connection with a communally sensitive video which had gone viral on social media, triggering protests and shutdown in Chenab valley region on Monday, officials said.

The overall law and order situation in the entire Jammu region is under control, they said.

Religious leaders and prominent citizens from all communities on Sunday took to social media to request people to maintain communal harmony.

Rohit Sharma, a resident of Pacca Danga locality, is the third accused arrested in connection with the case related to the communally sensitive video, a police official said.

Earlier, the main accused Satpal Sharma and his associate Deepak were arrested in the city soon after the video containing derogatory remarks against Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) went viral on Sunday.

A case has been lodged under section 153A IPC (promoting enmity between different groups) and 295A IPC (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) at Pacca Danga police station.

Taking note of the incident, Inspector General of Police, Jammu, Mukesh Singh had on Sunday warned people against sharing the video and said strict action will be taken against the guilty.

“My appeal to the people is not to circulate such videos which cause harm to brotherhood and communal harmony in the society. It is not good for all of us,” he had said.

“If we find anybody deliberately sharing the video, we will take strict action against him,” he had said.

In view of the incident, police took preventive measures in all sensitive areas across Jammu region and strengthened deployment to maintain law and order, the officials said.

Prominent citizens and religious leaders of all faiths have appreciated the police for taking prompt action against the accused and asked people to cooperate with the law enforcing agencies.

People are requested not to fall prey to communal hatred and defeat them by maintaining peace and communal harmony, they said.

Different parts of Chenab valley comprising three districts of Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar observed a shutdown on Monday to press for strict action against the accused.

People in Banihal town along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district also staged a demonstration, forcing brief suspension of the traffic on the highway, the officials said.

Normal life was affected in Bhadarwah, Doda, Thathri, Bhallesa and Kishtwar areas due to a joint shutdown call given by various religious groups to register their protest.

Shops and other business establishments belonging a particular community in Chenab Valley remained closed, but government offices and banks functioned normally, reports reaching here said.

In the communally sensitive Kishtwar town, police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength and patrolling intensified as a precautionary measure.

Elaborate security arrangements were also made in all the major towns of Chenab valley including Doda, Bhadarwah, Thathri and Kishtwar, the officials said.

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