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J&K: Curfew imposed in Kargil

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: February 10, 2006 16:35 IST
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Curfew has been imposed in the border towns of Kargil and Leh in Jammu and Kashmir following tension between local Buddhist and the Muslim communities in the wake of alleged desecration of the Holy Quran and a mosque in Leh by some persons there.

"We have called out the army in the twin towns of Kargil and Leh to assist the local police in strict enforcement of the curfew restrictions to bring the situation under control. Right now the situation is tense, but peaceful," said Basharat Ahmad Dhar, Kashmir divisional commissioner who flew to Leh to supervise the law and order situation in the region that remains cut off from the rest of the state because of the heavy snowfall across the Zojilla mountain Pass.

Earlier in the day, the news of the alleged desecration spread to the Kargil region after which agitated Shia Muslims took out a procession and ransacked the office of the local deputy superintendent of police.

"Several of agitators and cops were injured when the police intervened to quell the ransacking mob. We have called out the army who is now assisting the police in enforcing the curfew in the town," said Asfandyar Khan, the Kargil district magistrate. He said additional deputy commissioner of Kargil was also among the injured and was shifted to Kargil hospital for treatment.

"Troops mounted on vehicles are carrying out a flag march in the Kargil town to restore order and defuse tension," said a local reached by phone.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar