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Youth's murder sparks clashes

india Updated: Aug 28, 2007 18:20 IST

IANS
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Dozens of people were injured in clashes as tension continued to prevail in Haryana's Gohana town on Tuesday following the overnight killing of a youth.

Rakesh Kumar alias Lara, of the Valmiki community, was murdered at the Samata chowk by three unidentified assailants.

Angry members of the community clashed with police Tuesday morning. The state government and police said in Chandigarh that the situation in the town was under control though there were sporadic clashes.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) VB Singh said that the violence that took place on Tuesday morning following the murder had been brought under control.

He said that some protestors tried to block traffic in the town when the body of the deceased was brought back. "They were dispersed and police controlled the situation," Singh said.

He said that reports about a man being killed in clashes were not true, as a 60-year-old man had been killed after being hit by a moving vehicle.

Protestors from the Valmiki community clashed with policemen at several places and hurled stones at them. Police had to resort to baton charge to disperse the mob at three places in the town in Sonepat district adjoining Delhi.

Sharat Kumar, inspector general of police (Rohtak range), said adequate police personnel had been sent to Gohana and the situation was under control.

"We have rounded up several people. The police had to resort to cane charge at some places," Kumar said.

Section 144, banning the assembly of more than four people in one place, was imposed in the entire town.

Lara was one of the accused in the August 2005 murder of Jat youth Baljit Siwaich. The killing then had led to violence against the Valmikis after miscreants set on fire nearly 100 houses belonging to the community.

The Haryana government had handed over the probe into both incidents to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as violence between the two communities spread to other parts of the state.

Lara was later acquitted of murder charges by a CBI court.

Shops and other business establishments remained shut on Tuesday fearing violence between the two sides. Battalions of the Haryana police were rushed from Karnal Monday night.

Senior police officials remained in the town to ensure that the inter-caste flare-up did not spread.

Central minister and Lok Janshakti Party leader Ramvilas Paswan condemned the murder of the Valmiki youth.