Voicing serious concern over the violence in Kishtwar and elsewhere that has claimed two lives, the CPI-M said it was unfortunate that it took several hours for police and the administration to act.

"In the meanwhile, the rioters had a free run. If the authorities had acted in time, lives and property could have been saved and the situation could have been brought under control,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist said in a statement.

"There are reports that activists of the BJP, RSS (and) VHP are fanning out and inciting people to attack houses and shops owned by the minority community," it said.

"This situation is providing further grist to the mill of separatist elements in the Kashmir valley who are attempting to create further trouble,” it added.

Despite aberrations, the people of the state have maintained communal harmony and brotherhood till now. Attempts to sow discord among the people on religious and communal lines must be defeated.

(Agencies)

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