Dhule, Oct 8: Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe has demanded deployment of para-military forces or Army to quell the violence in this North Maharashtra riot-hit city. After visiting the riot-affected Gajanan colony area, Ms Gorhe told UNI that hundreds of houses were burnt in that area and atrocities were committed on the women there. What are the human rights commissions doing now? she asked.
She said considering this volatile situation, para-military forces or Army be deployed in the city immediately to quell the violence and bring normalcy.
She demanded that the culprits behind these riots be arrested immediately.
She also demanded that compensation be given to the riot-affected people at par with the 1993 Mumbai riots consequent to the serial blasts and not as per Malegaon pattern.
Ms Gorhe alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited Nanded yesterday but did not care to visit the riot-affected Dhule.
Meanwhile, indefinite curfew continued for the fourth consecutive day today in the 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 seven.
Two more persons were killed in the riots yesterday, it was officially stated here. Earlier, five 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 were seen roaming on the streets. Incidents of violence, such as stone-pelting and arson, were reported from various parts of the district such as Sakri, Kapdane and Shivpur, forcing several families to move out of the city to safer places apprehending more trouble, eye-witness accounts said.
The situation in the city is tense but under control as SRP and Rapid action force personnel are assisting the police in maintaining law and order.
The violence that spread to rural areas like Vani, Ambode, Nagon and even in adjoining Nandurbar district yesterday, continued unabated.
Yesterday, police seized a large stockpile of arms including swords and sickles, acid tins and petrol bombs from a bungalow in Moglai area on Sakri road. Police also intercepted a vehicle in Deopur area of the city and seized from it various arms like swords, lathis and sickles. Eighteen people were arrested in these two incidents. A number of shops were set ablaze by mobs in Sakri tehsil and police had to open fire to disperse them. The violence has reportedly spread to Phagne, Mukti, Shindkeda and Kapadne rural areas of the district, forcing the police to open fire in the air to disperse the mob.
At least 250 people have so far been arrested by police in connection with the riots.
The road connectivity to the district has been snapped for the last four days, as the State Road Transport Corporation has cancelled bus services due to the riots.
Educational institutions are totally closed, resulting in postponement of the first semester examinations.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Baba Siddiqui visited the city last night amidst protests by the riot-affected people.
Minister of State for Special Health Suresh Shetty visited the city yesterday.
Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Union Minister of State for Home Shree Prakash Jaiswal may visit Dhule today, sources said.
Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam may also visit the city.