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Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Violence, Tension Mount in Indian State
Violence erupted in Vadodara in the state of Gujarat after municipal authorities demolished a dargah (Muslim shrine). The shrine was an unauthorised structure which was obstructing a road-widening project.
The Muslim community objected to its demolition citing the fact that it was atleast 200 years old. They also observed that many Hindu temples which were unauthorised were spared. Despite the reservations of the minority community, the authorities decided to proceed with the razing of the dargah, leading to rioting.
At least 6 people were killed in the clashes, and one citizen (35 year-old Rafiq Vora) was burnt alive in his car by an angry mob. Curfew has been imposed in the troubled areas and the sending of instigatory SMSs prompted authorities to temporarily block the sending of mobile-phone text messages in the town.
Vadodara is infamous for the horrific Hindu-Muslim clashes in 2002 which left thousands dead. To avoid the recurrence of such a tragedy, six battalions of Rapid Action Force anti-riot police and multiple companies of the Central Reserve Police Force have been rushed to Vadodara. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Vadodara and has promised that all efforts would be made to prevent the situation fom escalating any further. Home Minister Shivraj Patil is also monitoring the situation closely.
This article originally appeared at WikiNews.
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posted by Robert at 9:43 AM
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