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Modi seeks Army's help

By Staff
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Vadodara, May 3 (UNI) The Army will hold a flag march in the violence-affected areas of Vadodara city on the request of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who has urged the Central Government to send Army to assist the local administration.

Mr Modi has asked Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to send Army to Vadodara to instill a feeling of security among the people and for immediate restoration of normalcy and communal harmony in the troubled areas.

After a two-hour-long visit to the trouble-torn areas and review meetings with local administration, Mr Modi, while speaking informally to reporters at the Circuit House here this afternoon, said, ''I am constanly in touch with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to brief him about the prevalent situation in the city. I have asked him to send the Army to instill feelings of security and safety among the minds of common citizens and for quick return of normalcy and communal harmony.'' ''Mr Patil has assured the State Government to extend all possible help to restore peace and communal harmony in this cultural city,'' the Chief Minister said.

Mr Modi appealed to the citizens to observe peace, communal harmony and maintain law and order as ''they were necessary for the development of the State''.

He said the Central Government has also been asked to send Rapid Action Force and para military forces to assist the local police force till the 22 companies of State Reserve Police, sent to five other states on election duty, returns back.

Beside, all police officers, acquainted with the city's topography, have also been placed on special duty to control the situation. These officers and local administration will be working under the direct supervision of Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah who will be camping in the city till the situation returns to normal, Mr Modi said.

The Chief Minister said the police have been asked to deal with the situation sternly. ''No one, responsible for these heinous crimes, will be spared and will be severely punished,'' Mr Modi said.

''Any one feeling victimised by violence should go to the court rather than taking law into one's own hands,'' he added.

However, the Chief Minister refused to comment on yesterday's Gujarat High Court order on the demolitions by civic authorities, saying ''The matter is sub judice and it is an interim order of the Court.'' He also visited the Sir Sayaji Gaekwad Hospital where police personnel, who had sustained injuries in the clashes, are recuperating and sympathised with them.

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