Srinagar, Dec 20 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir Police today said the villagers of Kralapora in border district of Kupwara caught hold of an insane person, believing him to be the arsonist behind the recent incidents of fire in the area.
Deputy Inspector General, Baramulla, Dr B Srinivas said villagers of Dardsun, Kralapora caught hold of a person moving in a suspicious manner last night and handed him over to Kralapora police.
He said the individual has been identified as Abdul Rahim Bhat, a resident of Noorbagh in Safa Kadal area of Srinagar. After being caught, Bhat told the villagers that he was a policeman, thus adding to the prevailing confusion, the DIG added.
On investigations, Dr Srinivas said the person was found to be insane. ''Before it could be established, some inimical elements had already unleashed malicious propaganda against the police.'' However, the DIG said the apt action taken by the locals in handing over the person to the police cleared the confusion and restored the normalcy in the village.
He appealed to the people to be vigilant and not fall prey to the malicious propaganda and restrain from raising false alarm of nocturnal fire, which created panic in the area.
Dr Srinivas said during this November and December, there have been a number of incidents of fire reported in north Kashmir.
The increased fire incidents in Kupwara during November caused panic and anxiety among the people, he added. In some villages, the people felt that miscreants were setting afire their houses and harvested fields, the DIG said.
To ally the fear and panic among the villagers, he said the police took up nocturnal patrolling following which the number of incidents of arson has come down drastically.