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Vadodara violence: Army deployed

The violence in the city was triggered by the demolition of a dargah. Was the demolition of dargah justified?

india Updated: May 03, 2006 22:35 IST
Agencies
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Army was deployed in Vadodara on Wednesday to quickly contain the situation and bring normalcy in the wake of violence triggered by the demolition of a dargah.

Nine to ten columns consisting of about 1,000 Army personnel have been deployed in Vadodara, Home Secretary VK Duggal said after a meeting to review the situation was undertaken by the Centre.

Army is on the standby in Ahmedabad, he said. The decisions were taken after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Duggal added.

Modi asked Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to send Army to Vadodara to instil a feeling of security among the people and for immediate restoration of normalcy and communal harmony in the troubled areas.

After a two-hour-long visit to the trouble-torn areas and review meetings with local administration, Modi, while speaking informally to reporters at the Circuit House on Wednesday afternoon, said, "I am constantly in touch with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to brief him about the prevalent situation in the city. I have asked him to send the Army to instil feelings of security and safety among the minds of common citizens and for quick return of normalcy and communal harmony."

"Patil has assured the state government to extend all possible help to restore peace and communal harmony in this cultural city," the Chief Minister said.

Modi appealed to the citizens to observe peace, communal harmony and maintain law and order, as "they were necessary for the development of the State".

He said the central government has also been asked to send Rapid Action Force and para military forces to assist the local police force till the 22 companies of State Reserve Police, sent to five other states on election duty, returns back.

Beside, all police officers, acquainted with the city's topography, have also been placed on special duty to control the situation. These officers and local administration will be working under the direct supervision of Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah who will be camping in the city till the situation returns to normal, Modi said.

The Chief Minister said the police have been asked to deal with the situation sternly. "No one, responsible for these heinous crimes, will be spared and will be severely punished," Modi said.

"Any one feeling victimised by violence should go to the court rather than taking law into one's own hands," he added.

However, the Chief Minister refused to comment on Tuesday's Gujarat High Court order on the demolitions by civic authorities, saying, "The matter is sub judice and it is an interim order of the Court."

He also visited the Sir Sayaji Gaekwad Hospital where police personnel, who had sustained injuries in the clashes, are recuperating and sympathised with them.

First Published: May 03, 2006 19:14 IST