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Centre rushes paramilitary forces to Vadodara

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) The Centre has rushed five companies of paramilitary forces to the violence-marred Vadodara, where six people were killed in the aftermath of the demolition of a centuries-old dargah on Monday, even as it sought a detailed report on how a law and order problem took the shape of a communal issue.

While describing the situation as "tense, but under control," Home Secretary V K Duggal told mediapersons that two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) had already been deployed in the sensitive areas in Vadodara, which has a history of communal violence in the past. The remaining three companies, two of RPF and one of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), would be in position today.

"We are also keeping more paramilitary forces as standby," he said.

While tracing the genesis of the violence that broke out on Monday during the demolition of a 300-year-old dargah of Radhiduddin Rehmatullah Chishti by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), Mr Duggal said the home ministry had sought a detailed report on the violence. "We would like to know why the police had resorted to firing while removing encroachments." "The situation has gone somewhat beyond control and both the state and centre are trying to get peace back in Vadodara." Mr Duggal said an anti-encroachment drive had started as a law and order problem and it had now taken the shape of communal violence with the authorities bulldozing the mosque without the consent of the Muslim community.

Replying to a question, he said the next 48 hours were very important for the state to maitain peace in the problem areas. In this context, he cited that curfew still continues in areas coming under six police stations.

Asked if the centre was satisfied with the way the Narendra Modi government responded to the situation, Mr Duggal said he did not have any reason to think that the officials had not done their job.

But the government would go deep into the violence. " "We would find out which officials did not do their job appropriately and timely." He said though the administration had brought the situation under control and no incident of violence had been reported since Wednesday morning, the city continued to be very tense.

Mr Duggal said the situation in Ahmedabad was also tense in the wake of violence in Vadodara.

"Both these cities are communally sensitive and have past records of communal violence," Mr Duggal said, adding that " We can send more forces to Gujarat if the state government demands it and paramilitary personnel are on standby." UNI SH MSJ KN1556

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