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Boy, youth killed in communal flare-up; curfew clamped

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Mar 3 (UNI) A school boy and another youth were killed and 18 others wounded in trouble-torn Nazirabad and Aminabad areas of the Uttar Pradesh capital in communal violence, which erupted during anti-Bush procession this afternoon.

Rapid Action Force (RAF) and PAC have been deployed in all the sensitive points of Lucknow.

The authorities announced clamping of curfew in Aminabad and Maulviganj on microphone, but the shortage of police and presence of voilent mob on the streets had so far prevented them enforce curfew orders fully, an official told UNI.

Police fired several rounds to disperse the mob, which indulged in heavy stone pelting, arson and loot. The Bank of Baroda building in Aminabad area had also been set afire.

Shanu (12) -- son of Rajendra Kumar -- was shot dead in voilence, which saw some pitched battles between the two communities. The kin of the deceased had put his body on the road demanding arrest of the person, who pulled the trigger.

The report of another casualty from Maulviganj area was yet to be officially confirmed.

Trouble erupted immediately after the 'Friday prayers' when an anti-Bush procession of Muslims was allegedly stoned in Nazirabad.

The problem started when members of a particular community were forcibly trying to close down shops situated in the busy market area from where the procession was passing, state Director General of Police Yashpal Singh said.

Arsoning and loot soon spread to others areas under three police stations of Kaiserbagh, Aminabad and Wazirganj.

With majority police force being deployed in the security arrangements in view of President A P J Abdul Kalam's visit later in the day, the situation turned worse within minutes leaving the handful of policemen with no option but to open fire to control the mob.

The incident also took the district administration by suprise as it was busy making security arrangements for Dr Kalam.

Meanwhile, a senior officer present on the spot told UNI that the administration had to first ensure safety of school children appearing in different exams before enforcing the curfew strictly.

''The administration would make fool proof arrangements for the students who were appearing in Boards and other exmainations, Alok Sinha, Principal Secretary (Home) told UNI this evening.

Reacting to the situation, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Salman Khurshid termed the communal flare-up as yet another failure of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government and demanded immediate restoration of normalcy.

UNI SB/NAB VS RL DB1947

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