Thursday, March 15, 2012

Minorities refuse to open shops in Rajouri

17 arrested for defying Section 144 Minorities refuse to open shops

Even as normalcy returned to Rajouri town today and authorities also lifted night curfew, the minorities refused to open their shops demanding immediate arrest of the miscreants involved in stone pelting on religious Bhairav procession on the occasion of Holi festival.

The minorities under the aegis of Sanatan Dharam Sabha offered themselves for court arrest in protest against delay by police in arresting the accused, who had subjected religious procession to stone pelting. They declared not to open their shops till all 17 accused involved in stone pelting, who have been identified, were arrested and put behind the bars.

Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, GA Khwaja said night curfew has also been lifted from Rajouri town. However, Section 144 would remain in force as a precautionary measure. Day curfew was lifted from Rajouri town yesterday.

The minorities defied Section 144 in the morning and tried to take out a procession under the banner of Sanatan Dharam Sabha demanding action against the persons, who had subjected Bhairav procession to stone pelting on March 6 and 7 leading to imposition of curfew in Rajouri town and outskirts.

Police said 17 leaders of minority community were taken into custody for defying prohibitory orders. They were released in the night.

Police added that they were conducting raids at various places in search of accused involved in stone pelting on the religious procession. However, they were absconding from their houses.

The accused will be arrested shortly, police added.

Meanwhile, despite lifting of day curfew, the minority community didn't open their shops. They have decided to keep their shops shut till the accused involved in the stoning were arrested and put behind the bars.

The persons arrested for violating Section 144 included ex Municipal president Rajouri, Rajinder Gupta, BJP leader Kuldeep Raj Gupta, Yogesh Sharma , Vijay Gupta, Hardev Raj, Bharat Bhushan Vaid, Kamal Gupta, Dev Raj Gupta, Ashok Gupta , Davinder Malhotra , Sushil Vaid, Ram Avtaar, Youginder Gupta, Karan Vir , Rajesh Data, Rakesh Gupta and Kulbhushan. They have refused to come out of police station till their demands were addressed.

It is pertinent to mention here that following the incident of stone pelting, the district administration had imposed an indefinite curfew in the town which continued for about five days . Since then, the minority community has been demanding the arrest of all those who had pelted stones on the religious procession. 

In a statement issued here, senior BJP leader Vibodh Gupta said that their protest was not against any particular community but it was only to protest against the failure of police in arresting the real culprits . 

" We demand the immediate arrest of those who have let loose a reign of terror in the town . We appeal to the leaders of majority community to come forward and isolate those trouble maker in the society . It is the duty of majority community to assure the safety and security of the minorities", Mr Gupta said.

In his separate statement, senior BJP leader Kuldeep Raj Gupta said that he has offered his volunteer arrest in protest against the communal tension created by some elements in the town. " I will never allow them to succeed in their designs and aims. I demand Government must act against those who had pelted stones on our religious procession", said Mr Gupta.

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