: Protests broke out on Friday on the Srinagar-Baramulla national highway over alleged desecration of a holy book and an attempt to set ablaze a place of worship. The Jammu & Kashmir Government termed the incident a bid to create a sectarian divide in the State.
Hundreds of residents of Gundhassibhat and adjoining areas converged on the National Highway after torn pages of a holy book were recovered near a place of worship in the area, police said. It said another copy of the holy book was found half-burnt. A case has been registered in Parimpora police station and investigations have started, they said.
A local resident alleged that attempts were also made to set on fire a place of worship on Thursday night.
The protestors dispersed peacefully to offer the Friday prayers but again raised slogans after the prayers.
Addressing a joint press conference, Ministers Abdul Rahim Rather and Agha Ruhullah said the incident was an attempt to create sectarian divide in the State.
“There are elements inimical to peace in the State. The people have foiled their nefarious designs so far... The Government is going to deal with an iron hand with the elements responsible for such incidents,” the Ministers said, adding that the State was still reeling under the tragic destruction of the 200-year-old Dastageer Sahib shrine while vested interests were trying to stir up more further trouble. — PTI