20 people killed, at least 110 injured on Holi across the nation

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New Delhi, Mar 23 (UNI) Holi, the festival of colours also incited violent clashes and accidents which left at least 20 people dead and 110 injured in various parts of the country with Bihar heading the list.

Bihar topped with 12 Holi revellers, including two women, being killed and 74 sustaining injuries in violent clashes in different parts of the state during yesterday's Holi celebrations.

Police said among the deceased three each belonged to Samastipur and Banka districts, followed by two each from Rohtas and Vaishali districts, while one each from Munger and Patna districts respectively. Among the deceased were two women in Samastipur district.

The maximum number of injured revellers, however, belonged to Vashali district in north Bihar where a total of 34 holi revellers sustained injuries in group clashes in Tangol, Arara, Chandpura and Kartaha villages, the police said adding that as many as 25 other youths were injured in three villages in Samastipur district, also in north Bihar since yesterday.

In Uttar Pradesh, a dispute over playing Holi snowballed into a full-fledged clash in Banthara area of Mathura in which a man opened fire on three siblings Rajendra (35), Bijendra (30) and Raghu (32) killing them instantly and wounding several others.

In two separate incidents, while a youth drowned in a canal when he was bathing after playing Holi in Jasrana area last evening, three youths were drowned, while they were bathing in river Ganga in Adampur area of Varansi.

In Rajasthan also, indefinite curfew was imposed in the old city localities of Chittorgarh town following communal clashes during Holi celebrations which left over 35 people injured.

The communal violence also marred Holi celebrations in the Tonk town with Holi revellers clashing with people of a particular community outside a religious place in Heera Chowk area.

In the adjoining state of Gujarat, controversial BJP MLA and Baroda dairy chairman Madhu Srivastava was today arrested by the Vadodara Crime Branch Police for indiscriminately firing in the air while celebrating Holi with his supporters near Baroda Dairy here yesterday.

Madhu Srivastava was booked under section 135 of the Bombay Police Act and section 30 of the Arms Act for firing aimlessly from a revolver while celebrating Holi with at least 200 supporters near the dairy located at Makarpura road.

''I fired six rounds in the air from my licenced revolver only to celebrate the Holi revelry with my friends, and have not violated any law of the land,'' he said.

Tension was heightened yesterday in an already blistering Shashtrinagar in Jharkhand when some youths while celebrating Holi started teasing women, who were taking bath in the river.

This was after the trouble erupted on Friday night when two youths attacked another of a rival community.

In Haryana, the brother of a Shiv Sena leader was allegedly stabbed to death while another person was injured during the Holi festivities.

According to the police, Ashish Kumar a resident of Professors Colony here was stabbed to death by Vikrant Tayagi while another person identified as Inder sustained injuries.

Group clashes marred Holi celebrations in Byculla in Maharashtra also after members of a group eneterd Shankeshwar Building and started putting colours on its residents.

UNI TEAM AKJ KN1939

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