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Protests over desecration of temples in Goa

BJP believes destroying two temples is a clever ploy to flare-up communal violence by some anti-social elements.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2007 08:47 IST

Two temples were allegedly desecrated in the twin towns of Sanvordem-Curchorem in south Goa triggering protests and shutdown leading to tension in the areas on Wednesday.

Unidentified persons broke "religious symbols" at the temples, situated five kilometres away from each other last night, police said.

Protestors in large number blocked all the roads leading to the twin towns and only buses carrying passengers for emergency purposes and school students are allowed to ply. Markets are also closed.

The protestors had piled up stones and trees on the highway and stopped vehicles from entering or leaving the town. Groups of people were seen on roads.

The protestors demanded that Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane visit the area and sort out the problem, said BJP MLA of the area Ramrao Desai. They refused to withdraw their agitation saying this is the sixth incident where in a temple is damaged in the area.

Meanwhile, the district administration has called for a high-level meeting with police and locals to defuse tension in the area.

The area, which witnessed riots in March 2006 following demolition of a structure housing madarassa, saw uneasy calm since last night when incident of desecration came to light.

Police have intensified patrolling in both the towns. "Extra platoon of India Reserve Batallion (IRB) has been deployed at the spot," said Superintendent of Police Shekhar Prabhudesai.

"This is a clear ploy to flare-up communal violence by some anti-social elements. We demand that police should investigate and arrest the accused," Desai said.

He said police inefficiency to handle the law and order is clearly reflected in the incident. "Government is not doing anything to protect places of religious importance," he alleged.

First Published: Apr 04, 2007 18:22 IST