Violence continues in Dhule

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Dhule, Oct 7 (UNI) Indefinite curfew continued for the third day in this North Maharashtra riot-hit city as sporadic incidents of stone-pelting and arson continued unabated and trouble spread to villages on its outskirts even as the death toll rose to five today.

A sixteen-year-old youth was killed in stone-throwing on the Satana Road this morning, it was officially stated here. Earlier, four people, including two in police firing, were killed as communal riots broke out in the city on Sunday after posters were torn. At least 150 people were injured in the group clashes and several vehicles, shops and houses were set ablaze by rampaging mobs.

Despite the curfew being in force, mobs came out on the roads and set ablaze at least 10 trucks in different areas of the city since this morning. Police opened fire in the air to disperse the miscreants.

The violence spread to rural areas like Vani, Ambode, Nagon and even in adjoining Nandurbar district, where incidents of stone-pelting were reported, A petrol pump was set on fire by mobs in Morane area but timely arrival of the police and fire-brigade averted a major tragedy.

A number of shops were set ablaze by mobs in Sakri tehsil and police had to open fire to disperse them.

Meanwhile, police intercepted a Scorpio jeep in the city.

Petrol bombs, swords, sickles and acid tins were recovered from the vehicle. Three people were arrested in this connection.

At least 120 people have so far been arrested by police in connection with the riots.

Eight companies of SRP are assisting the police in maintaining law and order, along with Rapid action force personnel.

The situation continues to be tense and several people continued to move out of the city to safer places apprehending more trouble, eye-witness accounts said.

However, official sources maintained that the situation was under control and police reinforcements had reached the city this afternoon after the visit of Deputy chief minister Mr R R Patil yesterday.

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