Curfew relaxed in Madhya Pradesh town

October 20th, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Oct 20 (IANS) Curfew in communal violence-affected Burhanpur town of Madhya Pradesh was relaxed for 12 hours Monday - 10 days after it was imposed, officials said.Curfew was relaxed from 6.00 a.m. though night curfew would continue to remain in force.

“The banks, markets and educational institutes remained open for the first time today after Oct 10 when the town was placed under curfew following communal violence,” said Burhanpur District Collector Kerolin Khegwar Deshmukh, adding that the situation was fast returning to normalcy.

The communal tension in the town, over 300 km from here, began on the night of Dussehra, Oct 9, when some people threw stones at a religious procession passing through the Gandhi Chowk area.

Nine people were killed in rioting that left more than 30 injured, according to officials. About 500 people have been arrested so far. Over three dozen shops and half a dozen houses were torched in different areas of the town.

The town has been under curfew since then with short relaxations only for women and children to purchase essential commodities.

The state’s main opposition, the Congress, and Uma Bharati’s Bharatiya Janshakti party have charged the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government and the local administration with hatching a conspiracy to divide the voters on communal lines.

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