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Outside forces not responsible for riots: Rane

Written by: Staff

Panaji, Mar 5 (UNI) Ruling out the involvement of ''outside fundamentalist forces'' in the three-day riots that shook South Goa, Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane said the vandalism was not aimed at destabilising his Congress-led coalition government.

Interacting with mediapersons after a Cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister said the violence against the minority community was the ''handiwork of some elements from within Goa''. He, however, refused to name these elements or their affiliations, if any, to political parties.

''The Congress party is for progress and development and not for any violence even when we were in the opposition,'' he said.

The Cabinet, he said, has decided to pay compensation to the victims of violence and the district administration was trying to identify them and also assess the extent of damage.

He, however, clarified that miners and other businesses, which incurred losses as a result of, ''bandh'' and violence, were not entitled for compensation.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary J P Singh said 24 vehicles, 10 shops and two petrol pumps had been damaged in the violence. But, a final report on the extent of damage was yet to come.

Two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) from Mumbai and another two companies of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) -- one each from Vasco-da-Gama and Sindhudurg (Maharashtra), had already been deployed in the trouble-torn areas, he said.


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