Kishtwar violence: SC seeks explanation from J&K government

The Supreme Court today directed the chief secretary of Jammu & Kashmir to file a detailed affidavit on the communal clashes in the Kishtwar district of the state and steps taken by the state government to control the outbreak.

Acting on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the government to provide safe passage to the pilgrims stranded due to the curfew in and around Kishtwar town, the court directed the state government to file the affidavit by 21.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam with Justices Ranjana Desai and Ranjan Gogoi said that the court cannot control the administration, and the court would not pass an order before going through the affidavit.

On an understanding note, the bench observed, "At this stage, we cannot say that the state government is sitting mum. They are acting."

The township of Kishtwar in the Jammu valley remains tense today after 11 people, including two policemen, were arrested on Monday for clashes which broke out on the Muslim festival of Eid.

Over 110 persons have been arrested in Jammu, while curfew remains in place eight districts of the region.

Meanwhile, Kishtwar has become a political flashpoint with the BJP and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah engaged in a slanging match.