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4 dead, 50 injured in Vadodara riots; violence despite curfew

By Staff
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Vadodara, May 1 (UNI) Irate mob attacked Navapura police out-post, and miscreants stabbed three persons, including one Gujarat State Reserve Police jawan (SRP), late in the night as violence, triggered by the demolition of a dargah in the Fatehpura area earlier in the day, continued unabated despite curfew.

According to sources, at least four people were killed, two of them in police firing, while more than 50 sustained injuries as police resorted to firing at several places after lathicharge and teargas shells failed to disperse the mobs.

Late in the night, fresh violence erupted in the curfew-bound Navapura, City and Panigate police station areas forcing police to open fire at Navapura.

Police sources said a 500-strong mob attacked the Navapura police out-post and stabbed SRP jawan Kirit Chauhan and one Anil Bechar Mali. The two were rushed to the SSG hospital in a critical condition. The out-post was also ransacked by the mob and several shops and houses were damaged in heavy stone pelting in the area.

Additional re-inforcements were rushed to the spot which brought the situation under control after lobbing two dozens of teargas shells and 10 rounds of firing. But no one was injured.

In another incident, one Abdul Aziz Sheikh (45) was stabbed at the Dandia Bazar by a mob and was immediately rushed to the hospital.

Incidents of violence were also reported from Ektanagar, Chipwada, Bharwad Mohallah and Mehboobpura areas late in the night.

The miscreants set on fire about half-a-dozen vehicles. Armed SRP personnel rushed to riot-hit areas.

Gujarat Home Minister Amit Saha, who is camping in the city, held separate meetings with delegations of the Muslims and Hindus and appealed to both the communities to maintain peace and communal harmony.

The minister assured the minorities that the controversy surrounding the demolition of the dargah and two other existing dargahs in the same locality, would be resolved only after the communal tension was subsided.

Mr Shah also asserted that action would be taken against all those who stormed into the Vadodara Court premises at the Nyaya Mandir with lethal weapons.

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