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Centre accepts Modi request for army deployment

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) The Centre tonight announced deployment of army in the riot-hit Vadodara and communally sensitive Ahmedabad for immediate restoration of normalcy and communal harmony.

At least 9 to 10 companies of army columns will assist the Gujarat government in its efforts to contain violence and riots sparked by the demolition of a dargah in Vadodara on Monday, Home Secretary V K Duggal told mediapersons here.

In addition, the Centre has despatched an additional 7 companies of paramilitary forces, taking the total number to 13 companies from the Rapid Action Force and the CRPF. Out of the 13 companies, nine will be deployed in Vadodara and four in Ahmedabad.

The move followed a review meeting held by Home Minister Shivraj Patil with Defence and Home Secretaries and the Chief of the Army Staff in the wake of fear that the disturbances may escalate.

Mr Duggal said a few companies of army and four companies of paramilitary forces are being kept as stand-by.

He said a total of 75 people were arrested in connection with the violent incidents in which six people were killed since Monday. "The total number will go up if preventive arrests are also accounted for," he added.

"The situation continues to be tense but under control," Mr Duggal said, while pointing out that the meeting felt the need for containing the situation quickly and immediately.

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