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Suspected killers of an Indian arrested in Uganda

The Ugandan police arrest four people on suspicion of killing an Indian during Thursday's violent protests over a proposed forest giveaway.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2007 20:52 IST

The Ugandan police have arrested four people on suspicion of killing an Indian during Thursday's violent protests over a proposed forest giveaway.

Deval Rawal, a 24-year-old Indian in Uganda, was beaten to death in downtown Kampala, when a peaceful demonstration turned into a riot over the proposed giveaway of Mabira forest to an Indian-run sugar plant for sugarcane plantation.

At least 21 protesters including four suspects related to the murder have been arrested.

"We arrested them on Friday night after video footage and photos showed them performing the grisly act," a senior police source was quoted by Sunday Vision as saying. "They admitted that they battered Rawal to death."

The suspects are being detained at Kampala's Central Police Station.

Some of those arrested during and immediately after the riots have been released after video recordings showed they were not involved in the violence.

"During the riots we picked people left and right. The number we are giving you now are people who are in detention with specific charges," said Edward Ochom, Kampala Extra Police Chief, adding that the Police had intensified the hunt for the perpetrators.

"Anybody who was involved, whether by breaking into shops, stealing motorcycles, inciting the masses or planning violence will be arrested," he said.

Those detained are due to appear in court on Monday to face charges of murder, destruction and inciting violence.

There were signs of confidence returning as some businessmen reopened their shops and banks Saturday.

Representatives of the Indian community decided to reopen their businesses after Security Minister Amama Mbabazi and Police Chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura convinced them Friday about their safety.

Following Rawal's death, the Indian community had threatened to go on a two-week strike through closure of all their businesses, including schools and hospitals. They also wanted to refuse paying taxes as a way of expressing their displeasure.

The plan was, however, dropped after MP Tanna Singh and Kampala City Council Councillor Pradip Karia intervened.