Curfew relaxed in Gorakhpur

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Gorakhpur, Feb 5 (UNI) With normalcy soon returning to city, curfew imposed in this eastern Uttar Pradesh district after a communal flare-up, was relaxed today for 7 hours.

Additional District Magistrate (City) P K Agarwal said the administration relaxed curfew from 1000 hrs to 1900 hrs in all the four police station areas.

''25 companies of paramilitary forces have been pressed into service. Anyone found violating the orders would be booked under NSA,'' Senior Superintendent of Police S K Bhagat said.

Curfew in Kotwali, Tiwaripur and Rajghat areas was imposed after a communal clash on the night of January 26. Besides, section 144 (prohibitory orders) was imposed in other police station areas.

On January 29, curfew was also clamped in Gorakhnath police station area amid violent protests following the arrest of BJP MP Yogi Aditya Nath. Shoot-at-sight orders were issued against curfew violators.

So far, 515 people have been booked.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former union minister Swami Chinmayanand started a hunger strike today at the Gorakhnath temple to protest Yogi's arrest.

Mr Chinmayanand alleged that lodging of fake criminal cases against the BJP MP and other leaders was part of a bigger conspiracy hatched by the Samajwadi Party (SP) government. ''The state government is only interested in garnering the Muslim vote bank by harassing the majority community.'' ''I would continue the hunger strike till all allegations against Mr Yogi are taken back,'' he warned.

Miscreants had opened fire at a 'baraat' procession on January 26, in which over 24 people were injured in Ismailpur under Kotwali police station area.

Some people, trying to escape the shootout, entered a Moharram procession nearby, leading to a clash between the two groups. The situation turned tense after a wounded Raj Kumar Agrahari died at Gorakhpur Medical College.


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