As soon as the House assembled, the BJP members took to their feet and demanded a statement from the government on the issue.
“It is matter of serious concern…Some anti-social elements have carried out an anti-social act. Situation in Jammu bad. The government should make a statement,” BJP MLA Ravinder Raina said.
National Conference’s Altaf Ahmad Kaloo and Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rasheed also joined in, demanding the government ensure safety of Kashmiris in Jammu region.
“Four boys from Pahalgam area have been arrested in Jammu.
What is their fault?” Kaloo asked.
The BJP MLAs took offence to intervention from Rasheed and Kaloo and exchanged heated words.
CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami later intervened, saying the entire House should condemn the incident and appeal for maintaining calm and brotherhood. “Let us not divide this state along communal lines,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Omar Abdullah supported Tarigami, saying, “It would have been better if the suggestion had come from the Treasury Benches.”
“Usually, the Chief Minister comes here (assembly) and intervenes but today neither she nor the Deputy Chief Minister is here when the situation in Jammu is on the brink,” he said.
Omar 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”.
Earlier, Law Minister Abdul Haq Khan made a statement on the issue.
“As per information received by Roopnagar police station, one mentally disturbed person, identified as Yasir of Doda, tried damaging and defiling a temple in Janipur area.
“The accused was arrested by police but while he was being taken away, the temple priest and some local residents tried preventing police from discharging their duties,” the minister said.
“The residents then held protests outside the police station and resorted to violence, setting several vehicles, including two police buses, on fire,” the minister said, adding three policemen including the SHO of the police station were injured in the incident.
Khan said police resorted to use of “mild lathicharge” and tear smoke shells to bring the situation under control.
The minister also informed the House that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh were not present in the Assembly as they were in Jammu to personally monitor the situation.