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Day curfew lifted in Kishtwar

Day curfew lifted in Kishtwar
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Jammu (PTI) Day curfew was lifted from the communally sensitive Kishtwar township of Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday after remaining in force for a week following the killing of a senior RSS leader and his security guard, a senior government official said.

However, night curfew along with prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC banning assembly of more than four persons will remain in force in the town and adjoining areas as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, District Development Commissioner, Kishtwar, Angrez Singh Rana told PTI.

Curfew was promulgated in the town and adjoining areas on April 9 after the terror attack on senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a health centre, triggering violent protests.

With the improvement in the situation, the day curfew was lifted from 6 am today. The Army has also been withdrawn from the town and adjoining areas, Rana said.

Curfew was relaxed initially for three hours in the entire town from 12 pm to 3 pm and later from 5 pm to 6.30 pm on Monday and the relaxation period passed off peacefully with no untoward incident reported from anywhere, prompting authorities to consider lifting of restrictions, he said.

However, officials said a group of people staged a peaceful protest in the town briefly seeking action against those behind the murder of the RSS leader. Protesters dispersed after senior civil and police officers assured them that efforts are on to nab the culprits.

Rana said police and paramilitary forces will remain deployed in strength in sensitive areas of the town to maintain law and order.

The killing of the RSS leader triggered violent protest with protesters ransacking the office of the senior superintendent of police, forcing authorities to impose strict curfew in the town and adjoining areas besides suspending Internet services in the entire Chenab valley comprising Kishtwar, Doda and Rajouri districts.

While Internet services were restored in Doda and Ramban districts on Friday night, the service was also restored in Kishtwar on Monday with the improvement in the situation.

Police had picked up several over ground worker (OGWs) for interrogation in connection with the killing of Sharma and his PSO and also seized the car used in the attack.

Police also released a photograph of the car owner, Zahid Hussain, who is absconding.

Kishtwar, which is part of the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat, goes to polls on April 18.

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