Curfew continues in MP city; CM appeals to citizens

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Bhopal, Jul 5 (UNI) Even as curfew continued in Madhya Pradesh's commercial capital Indore, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said his government was committed to maintain peace and harmony besides protecting interests of all sections.

''Indore district's officers have been given firm directives to take impartial and stringent steps to maintain law and order besides strictly controlling elements spreading discord,'' he said in a statement issued here.

Urging citizens not to heed rumours, Mr Chouhan appealed to them to render unsuccessful any attempt to vitiate the atmosphere.

''The situation is completely under control at Indore. At this juncture, certain persons want to derive political mileage from the situation,'' he cautioned.

State Home Minister Himmat Kothari told mediapersons at Ratlam that Indore police had obtained clues which made it clear that workers of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India played a key role in the communal violence as a tit-for-tat response to the state regime's crackdown on SIMI.

Curfew was relaxed for three hours today in only 11 police station limits of Indore where it was clamped in the wake of communal violence during Thursday's 'Bharat Bandh' called by the Vishva Hindu Parishad over the Amarnath land allotment issue.

The relaxation, from 1600 hrs to 1800 hrs in 11 police station limits, was later extended by an hour. Curfew was not relaxed in 16 other police station areas. The administration spoke of a relaxation in curfew tomorrow morning as well.

Two days of violence claimed six lives and injured 32 at Indore while more than 200 people were taken into custody. A case was registered in Sadar Bazaar police station against three police personnel in connection with the death of two youth in Juna Risala area yesterday.

Initially, curfew was clamped in four police station limits after Thursday's clashes between bandh supporters and those opposing it.

As disturbances spread, the entire city was brought under curfew yesterday afternoon.

''No violence was reported during the relaxation,'' said Inspector General Anil Kumar.

Last rites of four of the deceased were performed. As the kin of one of the deceased was out of station his funeral is likely to take place tonight. Four crude bombs were found in a bag at Kesar Pahadi 25 km from Indore.

Incidents of stone-pelting and arson caused heavy damage to property. The government announced Rs one lakh each as ex gratia to the deceased's families, Rs 50,000 to each of the severely injured and Rs 10,000 to others hurt.

UNI Team-AC KK CS2142

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