A mob ransacked a government building, damaged several official vehicles and set ablaze an effigy of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik in Kishtwar district Saturday after hundreds of people took to streets to protest against the recent killings of four people, officials said.
Sanatan Dharam Sabha (SDS), a local religious group, had called for a peaceful march from its headquarters at Char Chinar to the deputy commissioner's office in the communally sensitive town to lodge their protest against the killings and alleged failure of police to nab the culprits.
RSS leader Chandarkant Sharma and his security guard were killed by a militant inside the district hospital on April 9, while state secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar were killed in the town on November 1 last year.
Raising slogans against the killings, hundreds of people, including women, marched in a procession in the town under police protection, the officials said.
On reaching the DC office complex, however, some of the protesters turned violent and set ablaze the effigy of the governor and damaged several official vehicles, they said.
They said the mob also broke open the main gate of the multi-storied building and ransacked several rooms, damaging some records.
The protesters also tried to force their way into the office of Deputy Commissioner Angrez Singh Rana but were chased out of the building by policemen without using any force, the officials said.
Later, they said the protestors dispersed on their own before the arrival of the reinforcements.
Rana said police were directed to exercise restraint to avoid any civilian casualty.
"We have taken a serious note of the hooliganism and appropriate action is being taken against the persons involved in it," he told PTI.
The deputy commissioner said an FIR was being registered in connection with the incident.
"Police are making all efforts to nab the killers," he said, appealing to people to cooperate with the administration to maintain law and order in the district