(Express Photo by Mansoor Qadir)Four days after tension gripped the town of Bhaderwah in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district over the alleged killing of cattle trader Naeem Shah, the authorities on Sunday ordered a time-bound magisterial probe into the death and the subsequent violence, which had prompted the imposition of a curfew in the communally-sensitive town.
Later in the day, authorities announced that the curfew in the region would be relaxed for an hour every day. Giving details, sources said that the curfew was relaxed from 4-5 pm from Takia Chowk to Pasri bus stand which form part of Jamia Masjid area and from 5-6 pm in remaining parts of the town. The relaxation period passed off peacefully with people rushing to shops to purchase essential communities.
Also, the Army, which was called following the violence, was withdrawn, officials said.
The Doda district administration had earlier refuted reports that “cow vigilantism” was the reason behind the killing and said several people were trying to give a communal colour to the incident to spark further tension across the region.
Doda Deputy Commissioner Doifode Sagar Dattatray appointed Mohammad Anwar Bandey, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Thathri as the Inquiry officer. Dattatray said Bandey will investigate the probable causes behind Naeem’s death and that of those behind the stone pelting.
On Saturday, the police constituted a five-member special investigation team (SIT) headed by Superintendent of Police, Bhaderwah, Raj Singh Gouria to probe the death of Shah in Kachi Nalthi village on Thursday.
The SIT visited the site of the incident and also seized a 12-bore gun believed to have been used in the killing and sent it to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) Jammu for further examination.
Eight people have been arrested in connection with the killing so far and are being questioned, Gouria said, adding that seven more people were arrested for their involvement in violent protests.
The family members of the deceased had alleged that he was victim of cow vigilantism and had been targeted by attackers as he was involved in cattle trade. — WITH PTI INPUTS
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