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Two killed, 30 injured in violent incidents in Vadodara

Written by: Staff

Vadodara, May 1 (UNI) Two people were killed and 30 injured as sporadic incidents of violence today rocked the walled city area after a mob clashed with a Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) squad and police teams, while they were carrying out demolition of a dargah in Fatehpura area.

Curfew has been clamped in the city police station area. Police fired 28 rounds and lobbed more than 100 teargas shells to bring the situation under control, Police Commissioner Deepak Swaroop told UNI. ''Two people died and six people have sustained bullet injuries in the firing,'' he added.

A press photographer and a TV channel cameraman and six policemen were among the injured.

Four shops were razed and three kiosks were damaged in the incidents. A matador and a city bus were also attacked.

Violence also spread to the neighbouring Panigate, Wadi and Machchipet areas. At least 20 shops were gutted in Panigate area.

The mob comprising several hundred people, targetted a vegetable market, shops, cabins and houses belonging to another community.

Justifying the demolition drive, City Mayor Sunil Solanki said the VMC has decided to remove all those religious places including temples and dargahs, which are located in the middle of the road.

However, those on the roadside will be spared. ''We are carrying out the drive following a directive of the High Court,'' he said.

Mr Solanki said the city administration has already removed 7-8 temples with the consent of local Hindu leaders.

The Mayor claimed the VMC officials had a meeting with the religious leaders before carrying out the drive.

Police presence has been strengthened in the area.

Sources said the mob also laid road blocks enroute to the SSG hospital, where the injured had been admitted.

The presence of BJP leaders Nalin Bhatt and others in the area, has heightened the tension, they said.

The protestors were opposing the VMC's move to demolish a 100-year-old dargah in Fatehpura police station area, which was encroaching the road near the historic Champaner Gate. They indulged in stone throwing when the VMC squad and police parties came in to execute the demolition.

Though the dargah in dispute was razed by the VMC officials, another dargah in the area could not be removed as tension gripped the city.


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