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Home > News > Report

Agra calms down, but curfew continues

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | August 30, 2007 12:52 IST

 Agra [Images] remained calm on Thursday morning, even as curfew continued in various parts of the city.

Communal violence had rocked Agra on Wednesday, after the death of four Muslims under a speeding truck during Sharb-e-Barat prompted locals to go on a day-long rampage.

The mob set fire to at least 20 vehicles and one person was killed in police firing. Over 50 people were injured in the ensuing violence

However, curfew was lifted from certain areas on Thursday morning and Taj Mahal was opened up for visitors.  

While a magisterial probe has been ordered in the incident, 30 persons have been arrested for inciting and indulging in violence.

The State government on Thursday transferred Superintendent of Police Rahul Yaduvendu and suspended 13 policemen, holding them responsible for the violence.

The action was initiated after state Home Secretary Mahesh Gupta and Director General of Police Vikram Singh submitted their report about the incident to the govenment.

Those suspended included an inspector, a traffic inspector, a traffic sub-inspector, five constables and five traffic head constables.

"Even as the situation is well under control, we have decided to continue the curfew that was imposed in certain localities," said Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order).

"Taj Mahal will remain open to tourists. The decision to open the monument from the eastern gate was taken on Wednesday afternoon itself to facilitate tourists, who were already in Agra in very large numbers," he added.

Though most of the injured victims were discharged after receiving first-aid, nine persons are reportedly in a serious condition. These include four firemen, two policmen and three protestors.

"The local administration has been advised to review the situation in the afternoon and consider lifting of curfew in certain areas," said Uttar Pradesh's Principal Home Secretary J N Chamber. 

Meanwhile, the government has announced an ex gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh for the families of the deceased.

Film-actor-turned-Member-of-Parliament from Agra Raj Babbar blamed laxity on the part of the local administration for Wednesday's violence, adding that it was avoidable. 

 "Shab-e-Barat is an annual festival and necessary measures are taken to regulate traffic and prevent movement of heavy vehicles every year. It is done to facilitate easy passage for thousands of Muslims who offer prayers for their deceased relatives," he told

With inputs from PTI