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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
India troops patrol riot-hit city
A burning vehicle in Baroda
Baroda has witnessed several days of violence
Troops have marched through the streets of the western Indian city of Baroda following several days of riots.

Six people have died since Monday after clashes broke out following the demolition of a Muslim mausoleum.

According to the authorities, the demolition is part of a campaign against illegal structures.

Baroda is located in Gujarat which has a history of religious tension and the city's Muslim residents allege that the police have been slow to react.

"I have no faith in the local police," one resident, Ismail Davar, said.

"They were standing as spectators when my shoe shop was gutted last night," he is quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

State authorities say they have posted extra security forces in sensitive areas across the state.

"Security has been beefed up in five sensitive districts in Gujarat and paramilitary forces have been deployed in heavy numbers to thwart any possibility of violence," Amit Shah, Gujarat's home minister, told the Associated Press.

The Baroda police chief said the city is peaceful for now.

Map

"Some incidents of stray violence and arson have been reported in areas where Hindus and Muslims live together," said police chief Deepak Swaroop.

On Wednesday, the state authorities asked for additional forces from the federal government.

Earlier, police imposed a fresh curfew on parts of the city after the charred remains of a body was discovered.

The victim was allegedly attacked by a mob and burnt to death.

Police firing

On Monday police opened fire on Muslims protesting against the demolition of the mausoleum.

They said they had tried to control the crowd with batons and tear gas before they were forced to open fire.

At least 18 people were injured and 38 arrested.

Local residents say the mausoleum was a Sufi shrine which was at least 200 years old.

But the authorities have rejected allegations that police were acting against the Muslim community.

"This is not the only incident of an anti-encroachment demolition," Mr Swaroop told the Associated Press.

"Many temples have also been pulled down, and no particular religious structures were targeted.

"Local Muslims were informed well in advance and they had agreed to the shrine being removed," he said.

Gujarat has a history of religious tension - in 2002 more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslim, were killed in riots which broke out after a fire in a train claimed the lives of 59 Hindus.


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