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1 killed, 50 injured in Thane communal clashes

September 30, 2008 09:36 IST
Last Updated: September 30, 2008 10:11 IST

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One person was killed and more than 50 were injured in communal clashes, which broke out at Rabodi in Thane over the setting up of a 'pandal' for the Navaratri festival around midnight, police said.

There was a dispute over the issue of erecting a pandal for the festival beginning on Tuesday in the locality neighbouring Mumbai, they said.

Members of a particular community alleged that the pandal encroached over their area. The local mandal (group), organising the event, however, insisted that the pandal would be put up as per the last year's specifications resulting in the clashes, police said.

The police fired 10 rounds in the air to control the mob, which indulged in arson and looting, after baton charge failed to deter them.

Curfew has been clamped in the trouble-torn area, where vehicles and houses were targeted by the mob.

Meetings between members of the two communities were held since the last two days with the deputy commissioner of police to resolve the dispute but there was no agreement, the police said.

Another meeting was held on Tuesday night in which the issue was discussed again. However, around midnight clashes broke out involving members of the two communities, they said.

Senior police officers, including Police Commissioner Anil Dhere, are camping in the area, where personnel from the Rapid Action Force and State Reserve Police Force have been deployed.

Of the injured in the clashes, three are journalists, two Home Guards and some policemen, the police said.

Weapons like swords were used in the clashes and even mediapersons were not spared, they said.

Manoj Singh, a cameraman with local news channel 'Thane Varta', were among the injured, they added.

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil and Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi visited the locality to take stock of the situation.

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