Violence erupted on Tuesday night in Janipur area of Jammu, after an allegedly mentally-disturbed youth vandalised the ancient Aap Shambhu temple in the city.
The police had said that the youth is “mentally-disturbed” and was visiting the area to visit a psychiatrist, when he allegedly entered the temple in Roopnagar area of Janipur, jammu and broke a few things and windowpanes.
As the news of the temple’s desecration spread, crowd gathered on the street and started protesting, demanding immediate arrest of the accused. The protest spiraled into violence as people resorted to stone-pelting on the police and torched a number of vehicles, including two police public school buses, The Indian Express reported.
“They (mob) attacked the police station and set some vehicles on fire,” Deputy Commissioner of Jammu, Simrandeep Singh, said.
Following the violence, heavy police force was deployed near the area and the accused was apprehended. However, the detention of the perpetrator did not satisfy the violent crowd who alleged inaction on two police officers present on the scene initially, who were of the other community. The crowd accused them of trying to shield the accused, The Indian Express report said.
The officer said that the police had to resort to light cane charge and lob a few tear-gas shells to control the mob.
In the aftermath of the communal tension and violence, the police has suspended mobile data services in the region, on Wednesday, as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of rumours that may ignite communal tension. The deputy commissioner also said that the internet service will be restored by evening if the situation normalises.
The police also said that some stone-pelters and arsonists have also been arrested to ensure law and order. The police who was accused of inaction earlier has also been suspended.
“Right now the situation is tense but calm, people became aggressive as some people were under the influence of alcohol,” Singh said.
On the other hand the issue has now taken a political tinge as ruckus was created in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Wednesday.
BJP, which is an ally in the ruling government, demanded a statement from the Chief Minister. While the Opposition party, National Conference questioned the government what it was doing to ensure the safety of Kashmiris in the Jammu region.
“Four boys from Pahalgam area have been arrested in Jammu. What is their fault?” National Conference’s Altaf Ahmad Kaloo asked.
In the wake of the incident, the state’s chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti has condemned those trying to stoke communal fire in the state. She said that playing communal politics in the region can have devastating effects on the state.
The Opposition leader Omar Abdullah has termed the incident “worrying” and said that instead of fighting over the issue, the legislators “should set an example for the people to follow on ground. What we do here will be cue for the people in Jammu”.
With inputs from agencies