Army out in Vadodara, Ahmedabad also tense | india | Hindustan Times
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Army out in Vadodara, Ahmedabad also tense

THE ARMY was deployed in Vadodara on Wednesday after the clashes with the police, which broke out on Monday over the demolition of a dargah, started taking a communal colour in the early hours of the day.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 01:33 IST

THE ARMY was deployed in Vadodara on Wednesday after the clashes with the police, which broke out on Monday over the demolition of a dargah, started taking a communal colour in the early hours of the day.

A 38-year-old businessman was burnt alive in his car by a mob, triggering a fresh round of violence in the city. There were reports of sporadic violence, including incidents of stone-pelting, from some areas -- bringing back memories of the post-Godhra riots. Two small factories in the Sardar Industrial Estate were set on fire by rampaging mobs.

The authorities withdrew plans to relax curfew in some areas following the violence.  The army is also on stand-by in Ahmedabad where communal tension was said to be building.

In Delhi, Home Secretary V.K. Duggal said the army -- deployed on the request of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi -- would patrol the disturbed areas and help restore law and order. Around 10 columns (of more than 1,100 personnel) have been deployed.

Duggal said the situation though tense was under control. Seventy-five persons have been arrested for the violence that has claimed six lives so far.

In the afternoon, Modi requested Home Minister Shivraj Patil for army deployment. Patil then met Army chief J.J. Singh and other officials and decided to rush the army and additional para-military forces to Vadodara and Ahmedabad. So far, nine companies of the CRPF, RAF and BSF have been sent to Vadodara while four have been deployed in Ahmedabad. 

The Centre is also believed to have told the Gujarat government to do everything it can to stop the violence. Patil told reporters: "I don't think these kind of situations can remain uncontrolled. The state government has to do it (control the situation) and we will see that it is done."

Duggal said the Home Ministry was closely monitoring the situation and had asked the state government to send a detailed report on the Vadodara developments - on what exactly happened on each day since the violence broke out.