Curfew was imposed in Bhaderwah town in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district on Thursday after violence erupted over the killing of a man by alleged cow vigilantes earlier in the day.
The incident took place when the victim, identified as Nayeem, and another person were travelling in a vehicle near Nalti area, some eight kilometres from Bhaderwah town. Nayeem died on spot but his companion received splinter injuries.
Local reports alleged that some cow vigilantes shot at Nayeem with a country-made weapon. “Nayeem was working as a cattle trader. It’s being said that he was carrying some cattle in his vehicle at the time of the incident,” a local journalist told Scroll.in. “When the news of his killing reached his village, his relatives and other locals attacked Bhaderwah police station and pelted stones at some parked vehicles there.”
Eight people have been detained in connection with the case. Internet services have also been suspended.
Bhaderwah Additional Deputy Commissioner Ravi Kumar Bharti said the situation is currently under control.
Doda Senior Superintendent of Police Shabir Ahmad Malik told Scroll.in that they were trying to ascertain the motive behind the murder. “At this time, we can’t say if they were cow vigilantes,” Malik said. “The situation as of now is under control, however the curfew is in place and the security forces are on the ground. There were some protests from family members of the slain civilian but the situation has calmed down.”
Another district administration official, who did not want to be identified, said the Army has been deployed in the communally-sensitive town to prevent any untoward incidents and added that the movement of civilian vehicles has been restricted.
When contacted, the station house officer of the Bhaderwah police station, Munir Ahmad Khan, refused to comment. Jammu Inspector General of Police MK Sinha did not respond to Scroll.in’s calls.
Doda is part of a communally sensitive belt in Jammu. In the neighbouring district of Kishtwar, a BJP leader was killed last year and an RSS leader last month, after which Hindutva groups called for a strike to protest against killings.