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Rajoana clemency row: Gurdaspur remains under curfew

CNN-IBN
Mar 30, 2012 at 08:25am IST

New Delhi: Gurdaspur will continue to remain under curfew on Friday after communal clashes that broke out in the city on Thursday over the issue of Rajoana execution that left one dead and one injured in police firing.

Two groups clashed on Thursday over clemency for Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in the assassination case of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Curfew was clamped following tensions between Shiv Sena activists and Sikhs.

Rajoana clemency: Gurdaspur remains under curfew

Curfew was clamped on the city on Thursday after clashes broke out between Shiv Sena activists and Sikh outfits.

"Curfew has been imposed in Gurdaspur City after tension mounted between some Shiv Sainiks and other youths, including Sikhs," Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Mohinder Singh Kainth said.

He said that the Shiv Sainiks had given a call for Gurdaspur bandh on Thursday in the wake of registration of cases against some persons following clashes during Punjab bandh on Wednesday.

During the Gurdaspur bandh, most of the establishments owned by Hindus were closed whereas those belonging to Sikhs were open, sources said, adding that resisting the move of Sikhs, the right-wing Hindu activists came face to face with them mounting tension in the city.

In order to disperse the two groups, police allegedly opened fire in which one person died and another was injured, sources said.

However, Kainth said that police resorted to firing to disperse the two groups in which one person was injured.

"We are verifying the facts whether the person was injured during the firing," he said.

The right wing organisations were protesting against the registration of cases against 14 Hindus following a scuffle during Punjab bandh on Wednesday, sources said adding that the police opened fire in air to disperse the mob in Hanuman Chowk in the heart of the border town.

Police also cane-charged and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob of both the communities, sources said.

During the Punjab bandh on Wednesday, 14 Hindu youths had opposed the Sikh organisations to shut down the shutters of their establishments resulting in clash between the two groups. Normal life was crippled across the state which witnessed sporadic violence during the day-long shutdown, called by radical Sikh outfits, to protest the scheduled hanging of Rajoana.

Meanwhile, Kainth said that the situation was "under control".

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