Jaitley detained as Kishtwar made out of bounds

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JaitleyNew Delhi August 11;Curfew was on Sunday clamped in three more districts in the tense Jammu region and Army staged flag marches as J&K government made violence-hit Kishtwar out of bounds for politicians, detaining BJP leader Arun Jaitley at airport here and turning him back.

One more body was found in Kishtwar, 226 kms from here, which remained curfew bound for the third consecutive day on Sunday following communal clashes on Friday that left two persons dead and scores of others injured, but authorities were yet to ascertain if he was a victim of violence.

Curfew was imposed in Jammu and Rajouri districts and Army called out after some incidents of arson and violence last night. It was today extended to Udhampur, Samba and Kathua along with Bhaderwah town in Doda, thus affecting seven out of 10 districts of Jammu region.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley was detained as he arrived at the airport here on his way to Kishtwar, drawing sharp reaction from BJP which termed it as “undemocratic“.

The BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab Avinash Rai Khanna, who was to accompany Jaitley to Kishtwar along with state BJP President Jugal Kishore, was also detained by police while he was trying to enter Kathua this morning while PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti claimed she was prevented from leaving her house in Srinagar for a visit to the violence affected district in Jammu region.

But Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hit back at BJP alleging that politicians were trying to flare up the situation in Kishtwar to polarise the population with an eye on next year’s elections to parliament and the assembly.

Without naming any political party, the Chief Minister said, “their entire aim seems to be to recreate the conditions of 2008 (Amarnath land row agitation) so that they can exploit it in the subsequent parliament (polls) and then the assembly election.”

He said that he has spoken to the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. “In a telephonic conversation with the leader of opposition, I asked her to tell their people in the region to maintain calm and not to flare up the issue,” Mr. Omar said.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Shantmanu told PTI that curfew has been imposed in Udhampur, Kathua and Samba districts “as a precautionary measure and Army has also been deployed in the areas to assist local administration.”

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