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Dhule riots toll climbs to five

Dhule riots toll climbs to fiveDhule (Maharashtra), Jan 8 - The death toll in communal violence here in Maharashtra rose to five Tuesday with another person wounded in police firing succumbing to injuries, police said.

Police said the unnamed victim was in hospital and died around 6.30 a. m.

Three people were killed in police firing in the riots Sunday evening in Dhule, around 350 km from Mumbai. A fourth person died Monday.

Curfew continued for the third day in parts of Dhule while prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people were clamped elsewhere in the town with a population of around 400,000.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has ordered a magisterial probe into the violence which also injured over 200 people. These included 11 police officers, 102 policemen and 100 civilians.

"The probe will be conducted by the district magistrate and the report will be submitted within two months," Chavan said.

Maharashtra Additional Director General of Police Ahmad Javed is to go to Dhule.

The riots broke out over a trivial issue of paying a restaurant bill.

The ensuing arguments and fisticuffs led to full-scale violence in the vicinity of Machhi Bazaar Chowk and surrounding areas of Pala Bazaar and Madhavpura.

Policemen who rushed to the spot came under heavy attack, with rioters hurling stones, bricks, acid and soda water bottles at them. Arson, stoning of vehicles, and attacks on homes and shops followed.

Police used batons and tear gas, and then opened fire.

Chavan said the government would pay for the treatment of the injured. It will also bear the funeral expenses of those killed in police firing. (IANS)