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Curfew imposed in Dhar
Our Correspondent & PTI

Dhar (MP), February 3
Indefinite curfew was imposed today in this sensitive town following lathicharge on a violent crowd of devotees in the controversial Bhojshala shrine where Hindus and Muslims were to offer prayers according to a schedule.

The curfew was imposed to prevent flare up of sentiments among the large crowd of devotees celebrating Basant Panchami in the Bhojshala, a protected archaeological monument, claimed as a religious place by both the communities, District Collector R K Gupta said.

Security persons escorted 13 members of the Muslim community to the curfew-bound Bhojshala premises at Dhar for offering the symbolic Friday namaz this afternoon.

As the Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) activists had started a yagya and installed idols on the courtyard, the Muslims were persuaded to offer the namaaz at the roof of the structure. The Hindus did not want the fire of the yagya doused or their pooja things disturbed.

Following the Central directive, the district administration had permitted Muslims to offer their Friday namaz from 1 pm to 3 pm while the Hindus were asked to perform their pooja from sunrise to 12.30 pm and again from 3.30 pm to sunset.

The commotion started at Lakkadpeetha area behind the controversial structure where around 300 to 400 Muslims were heading towards the complex for offering namaz during the stipulated period of 1 pm to 3 pm and were stopped by devotees participating in the Basant Panchami festivities, Mr Gupta said.

The police resorted to lathicharge and cleared the Bhojshala, he said.

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