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The Times of India
The Times of India

MP Ram Navami violence: Vehicles torched amid curfew in Khargone, 95 people held so far

KHARGONE: Even as curfew continues in Madhya Pradesh's Khargone city after violence during Ram Navami celebrations, some people torched four vehicles and a garage in a city area, police said on Tuesday. So far, 95 people have been arrested in connection with the violence that started during a Ram Navami procession on Sunday, they said.

While the curfew is in force in Khargone since Sunday evening, some anti-social elements set ablaze three buses, a car and a garage in the city's Mechanic Nagar area on Monday night, Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Chourasia said.

Fire brigade personnel immediately rushed to the spot to douse the flames, he said.

An eyewitness on Tuesday said the Ram Navami procession started on Sunday from Talab Chowk area with a DJ music system playing religious songs loudly. When the procession crossed a mosque located nearby, suddenly stones were pelted on the procession which resulted in the flare-up, he said.

Another eyewitness said the procession started late than the scheduled time. While the procession, where loud music was being played, was passing in front of a mosque, it was time for the faithful to offer prayers. Someone hurled stones at the procession and later the situation turned violent, he added.

Inspector General, Indore range, Rakesh Gupta said, "It is a matter of investigation how the violence started and from where the stone was hurled first. It will be known once things settle. We will let people know about it."

So far, 95 people have been arrested in connection with the violence and the situation at present is under control, he said.

Khargone Collector Anugraha P said, "The curfew continues in the city. People were given relaxation only for urgent medical needs."

She said the exams of undergraduate and post-graduate courses in Khargone have been postponed in view of the curfew.

The rioters have so far torched at least 20 houses and over half-a-dozen vehicles, she said, adding that efforts are on to identify all those involved in the violence.

An official release said the administration has taken into custody some of those involved in stone-pelting. They are being questioned and their illegal properties, including shops and houses, are being demolished, it added.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra also spoke to Khargone Superintendent of Police Siddharth Choudhary, who had suffered a bullet injury in the violence on Sunday, and enquired about his health.

Talking to PTI, Choudhary said, "After I got information about the arson and reached Sanjay Nagar area, a youth holding a sword ran towards me. But, when I chased him and tried to snatch the sword from him, I suffered a thumb injury."

"When I chased him again, an associate of the youth shot at me, injuring my left leg. The bullet passed through the calf on the other side. I did not require a surgery, and am recuperating at home," he added.

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