50 injured in Thane communal clashes

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{image-Thane communal riots_30092008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Thane, Sep 30: More than 50 people were injured when this otherwise peaceful city witnessed a riot in the communally sensitive Rabodi locality on Monday, Sep 29 night.

According to reports, the trouble started over the issue of erecting the arch for the Navaratri festival and what followed was a dispute between two communities, including the minority community. Arson broke out and a number of houses were set on fire and even vehicles were not spared. Police were also targeted and the exact figure of the injured was still not known. Witnesses said more than 50 people, including a large number of policemen, were injured in the bloody riots. All kinds of lethal weapons, including swords and choppers, were used in the riots, in which even mediapersons were not spared.

The cameraman of local news channel Thane Varta Manoj Singh was one of the victims who was seriously injured and was hospitalised along with others. Eyewitensses said police were slow in their action, leading to the worsening of the situation and their spread. Senior police officials, including Commissioner of Police Anil Dhere, rushed to the scene and were camping there.

Reports said police initially resorted to lathicharge, which proved ineffective and they resorted to firing. However, this could not be confirmed and it was not known as to how many were injured in the firing. State Home Minister R R Patil and Samajwadi party leader Abu Azmi visited the locality.

Unconfirmed reports stated at least two people lost their lives and half a dozen received serious injuries and were fighting for their lives but the same could not be confirmed as immediately following the riots people ran helter-skelter and disappeared. A number of houses were targeted, burnt and even the vehicles were not spared.

UNI

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