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Two RAF companies from Mah requisitioned to check violence

Written by: Staff

Panaji, Mar 4 (UNI) In a bid to contain mounting violence, the Goa goverment has requisitioned two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) from Maharashtra for immediate deployment in the trouble-torn South Goa areas which is witnessing communal clashes for the past three days.

The RAF jawans, as part of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), would take positions tomorrow and work under the direct control of the local police and civil administration to deal with the situation in Curchorem-Sangeum, where violence continued despite imposition of prohibitory orders today.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (crime) Ujjal Mishra told UNI tonight that the situation was tense but under control and that the prohibitory orders would strictly be enforced and miscreants firmly handled.

Fearing repraisal from police following a freak firing incident at Curchorem railway station in which two miscreants received bullet wounds and a Sub Inspector badly mauled, local villagers ransacked the house belonging to a minority community, besides setting afire the vehicles and a shop this afternoon.

With local leaders demanding the authorities to deal with the situation with a ''firm hand'', additional police force was being requisitioned.

It was for the first time that Goa, was facing such a communal flare up.

The police had also sealed Belgaum-Mollem border for traffic in a bid to check suspected miscreants from neighbouring state of Karnataka, as a precautionary measure. Police had, however, ruled out the hand of outside elements behind the renewed violence as of now.

The trouble sparked off following a minority community elders obtaining a stay from the Directorate of Panchayats against the village panchayat order for the demolition of an ''illegal abandoned structure'' being used for offering prayers.

The demolition of the structure by the rival community had resulted in violence between the two communities person, with locals attacking the police station today, forcing the police to burst tear gas shells and lathicharge.

Significantly, violence jacked up soon after Governor S C Jamir, Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane and opposition leader Manohar Parrikar visited the area appealing for peace.

(Ed: here pick up suitably from earlier series) UNI BM SSS PM RK2227

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