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Home > News > PTI

Navi Mumbai peaceful; Curfew continues

March 19, 2006 18:45 IST

No fresh incidents of violence were reported from Koparkhairane area of Navi Mumbai township as curfew continued in the trouble-torn satellite town of Mumbai, police said.

According to senior Navi Mumbai police officials, no incident of congregation of mob or damage to public and private property was reported either in Koparkhairane or any other locality of Navi Mumbai in past 24 hours, particularly after the government stepped in and held discussions with representatives of the groups, who have been involved in clashes for past four days.

On Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister, R R Patil held discussions with representatives of villagers and Mathadi workers (porters), who were at loggerheads. The two groups are reported to have assured the government that they will ask members of their communities to stop all violent activities, sources said.

The state government is likely to convene another round of meeting to sort out problems amongst the two communities, they said.

The villagers, whose land was acquired by government to set up the Navi Mumbai township, some 60 km from Mumbai, have been clashing with the 'mathadi' workers, (who are treated outsiders) for depriving employment opportunities to the locals.

The trouble started with the alleged molestation of a girl from Ghansoli village by 'Mathadi' workers on the day of Holi festival, following which the villagers clashed with the workers, killing one person. Two more persons died after police opened fire to disperse the rioting groups.

The riots spread to other villages in Navi Mumbai in past three days, but the Koparkhairane and Nerul village witnessed a surge of violence on Saturday. An angry mob reportedly tried to damage the house of Maharashtra Excise Minister, Ganesh Naik at Bankawade village, leading to a cane charge and bursting of teargas shells.

Since then curfew has been imposed in Koparkhairane, Bankawade and adjoining localities. Eyewitnesses told PTI from Koparkhairane that a heavy police presence is seen in the localities where curfew has been imposed, and police is not allowing residents to venture out of their houses.

Meanwhile, Home Minister R R Patil on Saturday said the government would not hold a magisterial inquiry into the firing incident. Instead, the Revenue Commissioner of Konkan Region would probe into the matter and submit a report shortly, he said.

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