Wednesday, Jan 01, 2003
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By K. Balchand
Most of the disturbance was witnessed in the Ashiananagar area, where the three youths had been allegedly gunned down, and the Kankarbagh residential area.
Life in most of the other parts of the city was more or less unaffected though many shops remained closed and traffic was thin.
The major political parties, including the NDA constituents and the CPI-ML, which remained on the fringe today, have given separate calls for a Bihar bandh on January 3, demanding the arrest of the `guilty policemen'.
The Government said the CID probe was likely to be completed by tomorrow.
The trouble started with a mob setting ablaze some shops in the Sammelan Market complex.
They attacked the police who tried to protect the complex, hurling bricks at them and setting on fire at least half-a-dozen police vehicles, injuring at least six policemen.
The scene was similar in Kankarbagh where a check-post was set ablaze and government vehicles being reduced to ashes.
The mob allegedly also opened fire and used crude bombs. About 15 vehicles were burnt and 25 people were hurt in lathicharge.
Over 300 people were rounded up during the bandh called by the Indian Federal Democratic Party and which was later supported by some political parties and local groups.
Most of the Opposition leaders who came to take part in the bandh found the situation out of control and hastily went away.
The DGP, R.R. Prasad, denied that the situation had gone out of control and said the police maintained restraint.
The Shastrinagar police station officer-in-charge, Shamsi Alam, and a telephone booth owner, who allegedly used police connection against the three youths protesting against excess charges, were also arrested.
Six police personnel have been placed under suspension. After orders from the RJD president, Laloo Prasad Yadav, cases of murder were instituted against the policemen.
Mr. Yadav announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 5 lakhs to each family of the three youths killed.
He charged that the shopkeepers were all BJP supporters while those killed were RJD followers, all of them being backwards a Yadav, Kurmi and a Bania. He charged that the BJP was trying to `foment trouble'.
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