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Indian troops deployed to quell communal clashes


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An Indian policeman stands guard during the curfew hours following riots and clashes between two communities in Muzaffarnagar, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh - Photo by AP
An Indian policeman stands guard during the curfew hours following riots and clashes between two communities in Muzaffarnagar, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh - Photo by AP

LUCKNOW: Hundreds of troops were deployed on Sunday to quell deadly clashes between Hindus and Muslims, sparked by the killing of three villagers who had objected to the harrassment of a young woman in northern India.

The two groups charged at each other with guns and knives in Kawal village in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

According to the police, nine people, including an Indian broadcast journalist and a police photographer, were killed in the clashes.

The violence quickly spread to neighboring villages in Muzaffarnagar district on Saturday night.

''A curfew has been imposed in three riot-hit areas of Muzaffarnagar,'' said R.M. Srivastava, who is Head of the state's Home Ministry . ''The situation is still very tense, but under control.''

Indian soldiers went door to door to in search of weapons and a state of high alert was declared for the entire state of Uttar Pradesh, comprising of 200 million people.

The clashes broke out on Saturday after thousands of Hindu farmers held a meeting in Kawal to demand justice for killing of three men who had spoken out when a woman was being verbally harassed.

The state's minority welfare minister, Mohammad Azam Khan, said some at the meeting gave provocative speeches calling for Muslims to be killed.

According to a senior police official Arun Kumar, the farmers were attacked while they were returning home after the meeting.

''The attack seemed well planned,'' said Kumar, adding that some of the attackers were armed with rifles and sharp-edged weapons.

Gunfire was reported from several areas of the village. Within hours clashes broke out in neighboring villages.

A leader from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party said tensions had been simmering since the three men were killed on August 27 in a tea shop.

''Had the killers been arrested, the situation might not have gone out of hand,'' Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

Tensions were expected to escalate in the run-up to next year's national elections, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday. He asked all 28 of India's states to stay alert and improve their ability to gather intelligence.

Uttar Pradesh was at the heart of some of India's worst communal clashes in December 1992, after a Hindu mob razed the 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

According to Indian media, communal violence last month left two dead and 22 injured in a village in Bihar state, east of Uttar Pradesh.

Outbreaks were also reported recently in Uttar Pradesh's district of Shamli, as well as in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

The government has warned that India is seeing a rise in communal violence, with 451 incidents reported already this year, compared with 410 for all of 2012

Comments (12) Closed

hmm... Sep 08, 2013 04:45pm

very bad....hope the situation improves and sanity prevails!

V V S Sarma Sep 08, 2013 06:06pm

in December 1992, after a Hindu mob razed the 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya....... is at best a half truth. Babri Masjd was built by Mir Baqi a fauzdar of Moghul Babur, who himself was an invader who conquered Delhi from the Sultan, Ibrahim Lodhi, after destroying a temple at a place Ram-janmabhumi (it was called masjid-e-janmasthan) and the place was in dispute since 100 years or more. By 1992 only a temple was there and the dilapidated mosque was not being used as a place of worship. This has been confirmed by the Allahabad High Court judgment with one Muslim judge on a three judge bench.

Zar Khan Wazir Sep 08, 2013 06:16pm

It's only a matter of time before Pakitan and ISI get blamed for it.

Aniket Sep 08, 2013 09:50pm

Relations between Hindus and Muslims, I personally feel, are much better at a personal level now than they ever were. There is a lot of cohesion, with the advent of the corporates and people working and studying side by side with each other.

Having said that, there has been an upsurge in violence at the political level. It was never so bad in Uttar Pradesh with 12 major riots, all in Western UP, in the past one year. Earlier there would be a greater number of small riots, spread over large geographic regions. Now the violence is concentrated to some parts, with less number of incidences, and is much more intense. And it is all politically motivated.

Left to them, the politicians would eat our flesh if they could gain some political mileage out of it. India urgently needs a radical clean-up of her political system.

Naveen Sep 08, 2013 09:52pm

Every major election is preceded by such tension. Polarisation of people along communal lines is the best way to Power. Blood of ordinary men is indeed very cheap for the Politicians.

sohail Sep 08, 2013 10:33pm

@V V S Sarma: what a story maker you are.....

Saad(DXB) Sep 08, 2013 10:42pm

@V V S Sarma: So that means any historical building with religious significance should be torn down if it is not being used actively by the worshippers? I can think of a thousand temples in India on which the same rule applies... Anyone dares to demolish them??

Hassan Sep 08, 2013 10:50pm

@V V S Sarma: Ram janambhomi? You mean the place where Ram born 100,000 years ago?

Shams Khan Sep 08, 2013 11:38pm

Communal Violence in INDIA always are incited by local CRIMINALS or Politician for their own agendas. Verbal abuse of Women done here by (assuming Muslim Men) Men CRIMINALS who killed the Villagers who objected are Culprits. Than the Leaders who advocated of killing Muslims because of incident are CULPRITS and they all must be punished and put to DEATH.

Faisal Sep 09, 2013 03:59am

@V V S Sarma: Nobody in Pakistan cares..... We don't want to know about events in your overpopulated country

Naeem Gulzar Sep 09, 2013 04:47am

Why did we need Pakistan?

To save ourselves from the Hindu Majority in Sub-Continent? BUT those left behind are worse off without us.

Ahmer Sep 09, 2013 08:38am

Thank you Brother Muhammad Azam Khan. For the first time since 1947 Muslims have picked up the courage to pay back with compound interest.