Toll mounts to four: curfew continues

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Dhule, Oct 6 (UNI) The situation in the city, rocked by communal riots, continued to be tense today with sporadic incidents of stone-pelting and arson reported from its outskirts even as the death toll mounted to four.

Two people were killed in police firing and two in stone-pelting and 122 people were injured in the city in the wake of clashes between two groups, which led to rioting and large-scale arson in the city yesterday, forcing the authorities to clamp indefinite curfew.

One person, who was injured in police firing, succumbed to injuries late last night, it was officially stated here.

Of the injured, 98 were discharged this morning and 24 others were undergoing treatment at the city's civil hospital.

This morning, a fire-cracker unit was set ablaze in Nagaon village, adjoining the city, a motor showroom was ransacked and torched on the Chalisgaon road and an attempt was made to set fire to the Amit Plaza hotel but police foiled the attempt on the Malegaon road, in the outskirts of the city.

Stone-throwing incidents were also reported from some parts of the city, the sources said.

Meanwhile, State Home Minister R R Patil visited the city to take stock of the situation. He drove through the riot-affected areas and also visited the civil hospital to enquire about the condition of the injured.

During his 20-minute visit, He assured the affected people that government would provide suitable compensation to those whose shops and houses were burnt by the mobs.

At least 30 people have been arrested so far, Mr Patil said, adding, the curfew would continue to be in force till the situation returns to normal.

Yesterday, Several shops, vehicles and houses were looted and some set afare in many localities of the city, including Deopar area on the old Mumbai-Agra road, the 80 feet road and the main bazaar, police said.

According to police sources, the clashes occurred when a poster was torn by some miscreants, leading to communal riots.

Subsequently, both the groups indulged in heavy stone-pelting.

Police opened fire at the rioters, leading to death of two people.

Rampaging mobs were out on the roads, targeting shops of both groups, sources said adding that after looting the shops, the mobs torched several of them.

Police reinforcements were rushed to the city from Jalgaon, Malegaon and Nandurbar. A platoon of the SRP was also stationed in the city to assist the police in maintaining law and order.

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