Wednesday, April 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Mob damages place of worship
Curfew clamped on Kutch, Anand dists

Ahmedabad, April 2
The earthquake-flattened eastern parts of Kutch district, which had so far escaped the on-going communal frenzy in the state, came under curfew today along with Umreth in Anand district following incidents of violence.

The eight districts of Saurashtra and Kutch regions in the state had largely escaped the communal conflagration in the rest of Gujarat with only isolated incidents being reported.

The curfew was imposed in a Kutch town today, the first time since the February 27 Godhra carnage. It was also clamped at 10.30 a.m. on Anjar, which, along with Bhachau, Rapar and Bhuj, was among the worst hit by last year’s Republic Day temblor.

The order was passed after a mob set ablaze two shops and damaged a religious place this morning, after discovering that an idol in a temple had been broken and covered with a green cloth. The town was tense but the situation was ‘’under control’’, the police said.

In Umreth, an indefinite curfew was imposed at noon following group clashes, stone-pelting and minor incidents of arson. Reports of arrests or casualties were yet to come in.

In Vadodara, sporadic incidents continued last night and Police Commissioner D.D. Tuteja escaped with minor injuries after he was attacked with an acid bulb during a combing operation.

However, the overall situation in the state continued to improve with no reports of any major incidents coming in from anywhere till this afternoon. The curfew relaxation permitted at different places passed off peacefully and police said curfew was continuing at most places mainly as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile, one of the prime accused in the Godhra carnage case, Haji Bilal, who was jailed here, was hospitalised after he complained of chest pain last night. His condition was stated to be normal and he would be sent back to jail in the evening, doctors said.

In Khanpur, the Army was called the last night after a mob tried to attack some houses in the labour-dominated area, prompting the police to open fire and burst several teargas shells. UNIBack

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