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Gujarat mob defies curfew

Ahmedabad, Jan. 3: The flames of passion have not died down in Lunavada even today.

Curfew was clamped in the town, 50 km from Godhra, after rival groups clashed yesterday over the love affair between a boy and a girl belonging to different communities.

However, defying the curfew, a mob today gathered in front of the police station in Lunavada, seeking the release of 11 Hindus from police custody.

Police had arrested 31 people, including 20 Muslims, for involvement in the riots.

Superintendent of police Nitiraj Solanki, who is camping in Lunavada since yesterday after Panchmahal police chief Narsimha Komar proceeded on leave, has initiated peace measures involving leaders of both the communities.

“The situation is peaceful,” Solanki said. But police are not taking any chances. So, as a precautionary measure, the curfew is on, he added. No fresh incident of violence was reported today.

Yesterday, police fired five rounds in the air and lobbed 27 teargas shells when mobs of rival communities threw stones and looted shops after which curfew was clamped. The warring groups also hurled stones and set on fire an autorickshaw.

The recent incidents of communal clashes have created a sense of insecurity among members of the minority community, who feel that the worst is not over as yet. They apprehend that more such incidents might happen till municipal elections are over.

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