M A I N   N E W S

Three killed, 40 hurt in Vadodara riots

Vadodara, May 1
Three persons were killed and over 40, including two press photographers, were injured when members of a community clashed with the police and Municipal authorities over the demolition of a century-old dargah in the walled city today.

Two of the deceased had succumbed to bullet injuries, while the third person died of stab wounds, Medical Superintendent of Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad Civil Hospital S.D Saxena told UNI.

He said 16 persons had been admitted to the hospital with bullet injuries.

‘‘Several of them are in critical condition. They are in the age-group of 18 to 30 years.’’ Although curfew has been clamped on one part of the city, sporadic incidents of violence continued in many other parts.

A rampaging mob attacked the district court complex in Naya Mandir, and targeted the advocates. They also burnt several two-wheelers parked outside.

ACP N.R Patel tried to escape the mob attack near the court by jumping off a railing, but fainted and was rushed to SSG hospital by policemen.

Crime Branch PSI D.D Damor was among the six policemen injured in the incidents. Photographers of the Indian Express and Divya Bhaskar newspapers and a TV channel cameramen also suffered injuries while covering the incidents.

The deceased have been identified as Irfan Ahmed Dhobi (22), Mohd Ayaz Usman Mansuri (25)and Viren Pravinchandra Shah (28).

Dhobi was allegedly shot in the head. ‘‘He was returning after closing his laundry shop as soon as violence broke out, when he was shot at by the police,’’his uncle Hanif Usman Sheikh alleged.

Mohd Mansuri was the only bread earner of his family as his father had died recently following an heart attack, hospital sources said.

Viren, was returning home on his bike after closing his provision store near Govindrao Park under Panigate police station, when the mob attacked him. He was pulled off his bike and stabbed repeatedly.

His body, recovered near Sarasiya lake, has been sent for post-mortem, the police said.

The trouble started when the Vadodara Municipal Corporation squad and police personnel reached Fatehpura to demolish the 100-year-old dargah, which was encroaching the road near the historic Champaner Gate. Protesters indulged in stone throwing and started attacking the police and civic officials.

The police had to open fire, use tear gas shells and baton charge to quell the violence. — UNI

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