Curfew relaxed in Meerut, no fresh clashes (Lead)

June 18th, 2009 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 18 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district reported no fresh violence Thursday, two days after group clashes left 15 people injured. The curfew imposed would now be relaxed for about 14-16 hours from Friday, an official said.
“In a meeting held between police and district administration, it has been decided that from Friday curfew in most of the parts would be relaxed from 6 a.m. for 14-16 hours,” Deputy Inspector General (Meerut) Brij Bhushan told IANS by phone.

“To review the situation in the district we have again convened a meeting Friday, in which it would be decided when curfew imposed in parts of Meerut would be lifted completely,” he added.

The curfew was lifted from parts of the town for few hours Thursday except

localities under the Brahmapuri police station, police said.

“We had no case of violence reported from the district. We decided to relax the curfew for five hours in localities under Kotwali, Delhi Gate, Lasari Gate police stations,” Bhushan said.

The trouble started in Lisari Gate of Meerut, about 350 km from here, late Tuesday when some shopkeepers allegedly manhandled a driver of a tractor-trolley carrying Muslims to a religious procession.

“The driver was allegedly trying to park the vehicle in a prohibited area close to a railway crossing,” Superintendent of Police (Meerut City) Rakesh Jolly told IANS

The violence soon spread to other localities, including Ghantaghar, Pir Tiraha and Bhumia Pul, where angry mobs targeted buses and police vehicles. At least six police motorcycles were set ablaze.

“To prevent any untoward incident, four companies of PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) and six companies of the RAF (Rapid Action Force) have been deployed in the district along with other security personnel,” said Jolly.

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