Violence mars Ganesh immersion in Vadodara; 3 injured

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Vadodara, Sep 14 (UNI) At least three people were injured in the violence which erupted in the sensitive walled city areas of this city following incidents of stone pelting between two communities at Fatehpura and Yakutpura during the Ganesh idol immersion ceremony this evening.

The immersion ceremony which remained peaceful till evening amid tight security bandobast, turned violent after a procession on its way to Sursagar Lake in the heart of the city, was reportedly under attack with some people throwing stones from rooftops at Fatehpura chowk.

Reports said soon after there was heavy brickbatting in the area which later spread to neighbouring Yakutpura locality. The mob fighting was, however, brought under control after additional reinforcement reached the spot.

Police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed several teargass shells at Fatepura to quell the mob.

At least three people were reportedly injured in the violence.

Despite all claims of proper security arrangements, the city is witnessing communal violence every year during Ganesh immersion particularly since Godhra carnage in 2002.

This year in addition to the 6000-odd state police, seven companies of Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF) were deployed in the city and CCTV cameras were installed at all vulnerable points as part of the security measures to ensure peace.

The sources said all 13 police stations in the city had been put on high alert and patrolling was intensified to prevent the violence from spreading to other areas.

Meanwhile, fire brigade sources said three devotees drowned at different places in the city today while taking part in the immersion ceremony.

While one met with the watery grave at the main immersion ghat of Sursagar Lake, two deaths were reported from Makarpura and Bajwa.

The bodies were sent to the SSG hospital for post-mortem.

UNI SS GT BD2245

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