SRINAGAR: Curfew has been imposed in Jammu's Samba district over fears of clashes following the discovery of a headless calf from a stream on Thursday evening.

Superintendent of police (Samba), Joginder Kumar said the Army has been called in to prevent further clashes that broke out on Thursday evening, resulting in injuries to dozens, including a deputy superintendent of police, two stations house officers, some low-rung police officials and several protesters.

Kumar said the clashes broke out after a headless calf was discovered in a stream along the National Highway, enraging the residents of Samba who came out on the road and blocked traffic. A team of district administration and senior police officials arrived in the area and tried to pacify the protesters.

However, Kumar said the protests turned violent during which stones were pelted at the police and paramilitary troopers who were called in to handle the situation. "Protesters torched the vehicle of the deputy commissioner, Sheetal Nanda but she was not present in her vehicle at the time of the incident," SP Kumar said.

Fresh clashes broke out in the area on Friday morning following which the Army was called in to stage a flag march and prevent violence from spreading to other areas of the district.

"There is a rumour that a cow has been killed which sparked the protests. Few stray incidents of violence were reported on Friday but the overall situation remains under control," deputy commissioner Nanda told The Citizen.

"From the looks of it, the corpse of the calf is more than five days old but scandalous rumours are gaining currency in the area. Several policemen were injured in yesterday's violence. We have registered a case of arson and rioting against the protesters," SP Kumar said.

Violence in Samba comes close on the heels of communal tension in Jammu, sparked by the sacrilege of the Holy Quran, which took place at a factory in Bari Brahmna Industrial estate.

The incident took place when a load of flood-hit scrap, brought from a dealer in Kashmir Valley, was found to contain flood-affected copies of the Holy Quran, triggering communal tensions after which the police booked both the dealer as well as the scrap-processing factory owner.

Asked about the link between the two incidents, deputy commissioner Nanda said: "It is a matter of investigations. Our priority is to restore calm for which we are seeking the help of the elders of the two communities," she said.