Two killed in clash at Himachal Pradesh fair

June 22nd, 2008 - 11:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, June 22 (IANS) Two people were killed and three others injured in a clash between two groups during a fair in Solan town in Himachal Pradesh, the police said Sunday. Superintendent of Police S.P.S. Verma told IANS that two groups clashed at the century-old Shoolini fair near Solan Saturday night.

Sharp-edged weapons were used by members of both groups in the clash. Old enmity between them is stated to have sparked the clash.

While one person, identified as Sanjay of Deothi village near Solan, died on the spot, the other, Narinder, died at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital at Shimla town Sunday.

The police have arrested five people in this connection.

Meanwhile, hundreds of residents of Solan, 45 km from here, blocked the Chandigarh-Shimla national highway number 22 Sunday for more than four hours in protest the killings of the two youth.

They staged a dharna (sit-in) in front of the deputy commissioner’s office and damaged vehicles there. Later, they blocked the national highway and forced shopkeepers to down shutters.

The police resorted to baton charge to disperse the protesters.

State Health Minister Rajiv Bindal, who is also the local legislator, has reached the town to take a stock of the situation.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal was also in the town Sunday to attend the concluding function of the Shoolini fair.

Every year, a colourful procession accompanying the bedecked palanquin of goddess Shoolini (the presiding deity of the town) is taken out from the Shoolini temple in Solan.

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