Taj Mahal closed to tourists after riots

Taj Mahal closed to tourists after riots
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First Published: Wed, Aug 29 2007. 03 17 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Aug 29 2007. 03 17 PM IST
Lucknow: Police closed the Taj Mahal and placed parts of Agra city under curfew on 29 August after an angry mob belonging to the Muslim community burned trucks and battled the cops to protest the deaths of four community members hit by a lorry.
The accident occurred around dawn in Agra when the men were returning after marking “Shab-e-Barat”, or the “night of forgiveness or atonement”, when Muslims pray for the dead.
Angry crowds set fire to 11 trucks, including the one involved in the accident, said police officer Brij Lal.
“With curfew imposed in six police circles of Agra, the area in and around Taj Mahal is also completely shut to public as a precautionary measure,” Lal said.
Television footage showed smoke billowing over one neighbourhood, young Muslims clashing with police and a line of trucks burning fiercely.
“They are hurling bricks at police sent to stop the violence in one area but the situation is coming under control as our people are on the job,” Lal added.
Schools and colleges were ordered shut in the crowded city as police tried to quell the violence, an official said.
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First Published: Wed, Aug 29 2007. 03 17 PM IST