Communal strife sparks highway blockade, clashes

| Friday, August 21, 2015 - 18:59
First Published |
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Communal strife sparks highway blockade

Jammu: Protesters blocked the Pathankote-Jammu highway in Jammu and Kashmir and clashed with the police on Friday following overnight communal violence, authorities said.
Curfew was imposed in Samba district in Jammu region late Thursday in the wake of communal clashes.
A senior police officer told IANS here that a mob which blocked the national highway at Parmandal Morh in Jammu district clashed with police, who used batons and tear smoke to clear the highway.
The protests on Friday were linked to the Samba violence that followed allegations and counter-allegations of religious sacrilege.
Authorities on Friday said no cow had been slaughtered in Samba district -- a charge that led to tensions and then violence at the first place.
They said the carcass of the animal found on the street was that of a buffalo calf that died more than 100 hours earlier as revealed by autopsy.
Members of one community had alleged that copies of their religious scripture were torched inside a factory in Bari Brahmana industrial area.
The first communal outbreak was reported on Thursday evening at Raya Morh in Samba where protesters torched the vehicle of the district magistrate and smashed other vehicles on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Several policemen and protesters were injured in the clashes. The army was called out at night, district officials said.
Police and the civil administration said they were seeking the help of community elders to restore sanity.

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