Widespread violence killed seven, admits Madhya Pradesh

July 8th, 2008 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Bhopal, July 8 (IANS) The Madhya Pradesh government admitted in the assembly Tuesday that violence and damage to property had occurred at several places in the state during the July 3 nationwide strike called following the Amarnath land transfer row. In a written reply to an adjournment notice on communal skirmishes in Indore and other places last week, Home Minister Himmat Kothari said 75 criminal cases had been registered in connection with the violence. The adjournment notice was moved by Arif Aqueel of the Congress and 21 others.

“Seven people, including six in Indore alone, were killed during the violence and 130 were arrested,” Kothari said, adding that violence was reported from Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Ujjain, Dhar, Jhabua and Satna.

Kothari also clarified that several Congress leaders, including central minister V. Narayanasami, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, state Congress president Suresh Pachouri and others, were not allowed to visit riot-hit Indore July 6 as the administration apprehended that a law and order problem could arise if they were allowed to visit the riot-hit.

The home minister, however, denied any Congress leader was manhandled in Bhopal when Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi and others were arrested after they staged a sit-in at the chief minister’s residence Sunday.

Kothari also refuted the opposition charge that the government caused damage to people’s property or framed them in assault cases fraudulently.

No debate on the adjournment notice could be held since the Congress and other Opposition members demanding a judicial inquiry and resignation of Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan remained in the well.

The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), which rules the state, and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had called for the nationwide shutdown to protest the Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision last month to cancel land allotment made to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

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