New Delhi demands report on Vadodara violence
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The central government has sent over 600 paramilitary personnel to violence-racked Vadodara and asked the Gujarat government for a detailed report on the communal clashes in the city that has claimed six lives.
"We have asked for a detailed report on the violence and would like to know why police had to resort to firing while removing encroachments," home secretary V.K. Duggal told reporters her Wednesday.
"The situation has gone somewhat beyond control and both the state and centre are trying to get peace back in Vadodara."
Duggal said an anti-encroachment drive had started as a law and order problem - the city authorities in Vadodara bulldozed a 300-year-old mosque without the consent of the Muslim community - and had now taken the shape of communal violence.
"The next 48 hours are very important and vital for the state to maintain peace in the area," said Duggal. He added that city areas under the jurisdiction of six police stations are still under curfew.
Speaking on the response of the state government to the situation, the home secretary said, "I have no reason to believe that the officials did not do their job appropriately but the government would go deep into the violence. We would find out which officials did not do their job appropriately and timely."
He said though the administration had brought the situation under control and no incident of violence had been reported since Wednesday morning, the city continued to be very tense.
The home ministry had sent personnel from the Rapid Action Force and Central Reserve Police Force to Vadodara. The personnel were sent from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
Communal clashes had broken out in Vadodara Monday after the Radhiduddin Rehmatullah Chishti dargah was demolished by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation.
Duggal added that due to the violence in Vadodara, the situation in Ahmedabad was also tense.
"Both these cities are communally sensitive and have past records of communal violence. We can send more forces to Gujarat if the state government demands it and paramilitary personnel are on standby," he said.
Duggal added in the past two days of violence, six people - four Muslims and two Hindus - were killed. He added that two people were killed in police firing while two others died in different stabbing incidents. He added that the state police had arrested 12 people.
He added that the Gujarat chief minister and home minister were expected to visit the city Wednesday and would also speak to the officials who are controlling the situation on the ground.
Indo-Asian News Service