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Uneasy calm in troubled areas of Bhakkar

Updated August 27, 2013

MIANWALI, Aug 26: The curfew imposed on troubled areas of Panj Garain and Kotla Jam after sectarian clashes on Friday was lifted on Monday but the night curfew has been retained in Darya Khan.

All educational institutions remained closed while markets started opening partially on Monday despite ending of the curfew.

However, the atmosphere of fear still prevailed although law enforcing agencies were on patrol. The police is busy in search operation to pick up more accused involved in sectarian clashes which claimed 10 lives. After a joint Qul of three activists of Majlis Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) at main Imambargah Hussainia at Kotla Jam, an attempt was made to take out a rally on the main road which was foiled by police.

Women activists of the MWM had staged a sit-in on Sunday and alleged that police were violating the sanctity of ‘chaddar and chardewari’ in their search operation to arrest the alleged accused.

They alleged the police entered their houses without any permission after scaling boundary walls and took away valuables on the pretext of a search operation.

Immediately after evening prayers announcements were made from loudspeakers of mosques that night curfew would continue in Darya Khan on the direction of the Punjab government.

The people again rushed to their homes and Rangers started patrolling streets and roads in Darya Khan.

Bhakkar DCO Mumtaz Hussain Zahid in a press briefing released a list of 10 people killed during Friday’s sectarian clashes.

He said the law and order situation was under control, but some TV channels were airing false news that the actual number of people killed was more than those mentioned in the official list.

The DCO has appealed to the people not to lend ears to rumors being spread by some miscreants in the area to create unrest.

Police sources said that around 60 people from both sects had so far been picked up from different areas.