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Violence erupts again during funeral of victims

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    Vadodara, May 2: Fresh violence erupted in the riot-hit Vadodara city during a funeral procession of two victims, of police firing, near Fatehpur chawk under the curfew-bound city police station area here even as the death toll in yesterday's incident rose to five today.

    The irate mob, which torched three vehicles, engaged in a fierce battle with the police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) jawans, who were accompanying the procession from Yakutpura to the Sarasia graveyard.

    The police said, members belonging to two different communities pelted stones at each other following which they had to resort to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to quell them.

    However, no one has been arrested so far.

    The trouble reportedly began following pelting of stones at the burial procession of -- Irfan Hussain Dhobi and Mohammad Ayuj Mansoori -- who died in yesterday's police firing during the demolition of a 100-year-old 'dargah' that was encroaching the road at the historic Champaner gate in the walled city.

    The situation was brought under control with immediate police intervention and the funeral procession ended without any further violence, the police said.

    But, tension prevailed in the city, Navapura, Wadi, Panigate, Karelibaug and Raopura police station areas where curfew was clamped yesterday following widespread violence, leading to death of five people, including three in police firing, and about 50 others were injured.

    The communal tension also affected the Western part of the city as several shops and business establishments remained closed today.

    Meanwhile, curfew has been relaxed from 1230 hrs to 1430 hrs in Panigate and Raopura police station areas, the police said.

    Curfew would be relaxed in Wadi and Karelibaug from 1500 hrs to 1700 hrs, while the trouble-prone city and Navapura police station areas will remain curfew-bound, Vadodara Commissioner of Police Deepak Swaroop said.

    UNI

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