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Vadodara: Violence continues for 3 consecutive days

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    Vadodara, May 3: Violence and arson triggered by the demolition of a century old Dargah by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Monday, continued for the third consecutive day today with mobs taking to the streets in several areas since morning.

    Following last night's widespread violence and rioting in the Panigate area, phase wise relaxation in curfew that was announced in six police station areas for today, was cancelled by the authorities.

    Around mid-night, a 2000-strong mob went on a rampage in the Mahavir char-rasta on the Ajwa road and burnt alive a 35-year-old youth in his Tata Sierra. Police took nearly two hours to bring the irate mob attack under control by resorting to lathi charge, teargas shells and firing.

    The youth identified as Mohammad Rafiq Vohra, was reportedly returning home in his Sierra when the mob gheraoed him, beat him up and finally set him on fire along with the vehicle. He was rushed to the SSG hospital by his brother Firoj only to be declared brought dead.

    With the death of Vohra, the toll in the last three days of violence in the city has risen to six, three of whom were killed in police firing.

    As violence continued unabeted in other curfew-bound areas too, Gujarat home minister Amit Sahar rushed to Vadodara late in the night and had a high level meeting with police commissioner Deepak Swaroop, collector Rajip Topno and a team of senior IAS and IPS officers.

    State police chief P C Pande, who also arrived here today reviewed the law and order situation. According to official sources, Chief Minister Narendra Modi was also expected to visit the riot-hit city this afternoon.

    Talking to the media after a review meeting at the circuit house, home minister Mr Shah said his government was preparing an ''action plan'' to restore peace and communal harmony in the city. He asserted that things would come to normal soon with deployment of adequate central paramilitary forces in all sensitive areas.

    Meanwhile, clashes between two communities were reported in the Bhauchawada and Bawamanpura areas in the curfew-bound Panigate police station area where mob set ablaze a slum. Police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge to quell the stone-pelting miscreants.

    UNI

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