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Centre not to remain mere onlooker, PM assures Bardhan

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) CPI general secretary A B Bardhan today said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told him that the Centre would not remain a ''mere onlooker'' on the happenings in Gujarat and the Home Minister had been instructed to monitor the situation in the state on an hourly basis.

Dr Singh gave the assurance when the veteran Left leader met him here this aftermoon to draw his attention towards the ongoing violence in the state, which he feared could ''take an ugly turn into a communal flare-up.'' After the meeting with the Prime Minister, lasting about 30 minutes, Mr Bardhan told UNI that the Dr Singh had shared his concern and told him that he had directed the Home Minister to monitor the situation on an hourly basis and take all necessary measures to contain the situation.

''The situation could lead to communal polarisation and repeat once again the gory experiences of 2002,'' he said, adding he had told Dr Singh that when people of both communities were about to find an amicable solution, the authorities bulldozed the Dargah.

''It was simply a provocative action,'' he claimed.

Cautioning him against the possibility of communal flare-up if the Centre did not intervene, the CPI leader said the 2002 events had taken place essentially because of ''inaction'' by the BJP-led NDA government at the centre.

''But now there is a Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, so it is expected that it would intervene to quell the violence,'' Mr Bardhan said he had told the Prime Minister.

Violence and arson -- triggered by the demolition of a century-old Dargah -- continued for the third consecutive day in Vadodara today with mobs taking to the streets in several areas of the city since the morning. The toll has reached six, including three killed in police firing.

UNI KSA VD AT HS1906

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