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Uneasy calm prevails in Vadodara's curfew-bound areas on day 4

By Staff
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Vadodara, May 4 (UNI) After three days of continued violence and arson, peace prevailed in all six curfew-bound police station areas in Vadodara city today with Army conducting round-the-clock flag march and patrolling in sensitive areas.

The two-hour curfew relaxation, given in phases only to women and chidren to buy essentials, ended peacefully at 1630 hrs without a single incident being reported from any of the curfew-bound areas of Raopura, City, Karelibaug, Wadi, Panigate and Navapura today.

Besides the city police, 13 companies of SRPF, RPF and CRPF, as well as two columns of Army from the Makarpura base were deployed in the sensitive areas to strictly enforce curfew and maintain law and order. As violence continued unabated for three consecutive days, Army was called in last night to help the state police in controlling the situation.

Claiming that no incident of violence had occurred in the city since last night, police sources said, preparation was on to launch a massive combing operation tonight to nab the rioters along with intensive patrolling by the armed forces.

Duration of curfew relaxation for tomorrow would be announced tonight after a close watch on the situation, the sources informed.

So far six people were killed and scores of people were injured in police firing and clashes, which broke out on Monday after the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) demolished a 100-year-old dargah of a Sufi saint for encroaching on the road close to the historic Champaner Gate.

According to Vadodara Police Commissioner Deepak Swaroop, about 200 people had been arrested in connection with the violence and arson.

A Congress delegation, led by AICC secretary Manish Tiwari, arrived here today on a two-day visit of the city to review the situation.

Talking to reporters after visiting the riot victims at the civil hospital here, Mr Tiwari said in Vadodara, the party's ward committees had been converted to peace committees, and they were directed to work for fast return of peace and communal harmony in the affected areas.

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