An indefinite curfew was clamped in the Bhaderwah town of the Doda district on Thursday as violent protests broke out following the killing of a 40-year-old villager by unidentified persons around Wednesday midnight.

An irate mob attacked the police station and damaged the vehicles parked there. Incidents of stone-pelting on residential houses were also reported as the miscreants tried to give a communal turn to the incident.

Paramilitary forces have been deployed in the area to maintain peace. Police resorted to bursting teargas shells and cane-charge to disperse the violent mobs.

Curfew was imposed after the situation started worsening. Reports said tension mounted after Nayeem Shah of Mohalla Qilla in the town was shot on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.

“Nayeem was killed and another person received splinter injuries in the firing,” said Jammu zone IGP MK Sinha.

Mobile internet services have been suspended as a precautionary measure following the incident to keep a check on rumour mongers. Doda Deputy Commissioner D S Dattatray said curfew had been imposed in entire Bhaderwah area and paramilitary personnel besides policemen deployed in strength.

While officials were trying to ascertain the reason behind the firing, relatives of Nayeem alleged that he was a victim of cow vigilantism.

The authorities said he was probably involved in bovine smuggling and the matter was being investigated.

However, the other side involved in the incident said they opened fire after they found two men roaming under suspicious circumstances on Wednesday night, said the police. The police have detained seven people so far.

Reports said family of the deceased attacked the Bhaderwah police station soon after the incident and damaged around half a dozen vehicles, including a three-wheeler.

Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the PMO, urged people to exercise restraint instead of causing provocation. He also spoke with Governor Satya Pal Malik on the issue.