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Curfew imposed on Vijapur town Sunday, September 16, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD/MEHSANA: Curfew was imposed on Vijapur town in Mehsana district on Saturday following clashes between members of two communities and incidents of arson.

The police said three shops, a pipe factory and a tobacco godown were set afire by a rampaging mob at around 11.45 am. Miscreants broke into the office of an advocate and took away some goods. The curfew was imposed around 12.30 pm. Several persons have been taken into custody.

The trouble was sparked off at Vijapur, a town with 60,000 population, over by an incident of eve-teasing on Friday. The boy and the girl belonged to different communities. Town BJP chief Raju Sindhi, who intervened, was beaten up by some youths and had to be hospitalised. This enraged the Bajrang Dal which organised a 'bandh' on Saturday.

A public meeting was addressed by several BJP and VHP leaders where provocative speeches were made, according to the police. Three mahants also addressed the gathering. It was the crowd returning from the meeting which turned violent and indulged in acts of arson.

Home secretary S Nityanandam said, "The situation did not warrant a curfew but we imposed it as a precautionary measure." Three SRP companies have been rushed to the town and Inspector General of Police Amitabh Pathak is camping at Vijapur.

Meanwhile, miscreants threw stones at a place of worship in Tharad town in the sensitive border district of Banaskantha on Friday. Police sources said it was the fall-out of an incident on Wednesday when the eyes of an idol were found gouged.

Assuming that the act must have been committed by members of a particular community, the rival group on Friday called for a bandh and took out a procession in the town. The mob reportedly threw stones at the shrine, sparking tension.

The situation was under control on Saturday and no further incidents were reported, said Nityanandam.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]


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