Fifteen injured in Gujarat clashes

Fifteen people have been injured in a clash between police and Muslim protestors in the riot-scarred west Indian state of Gujarat.

    Gujarat has been wracked by Hindu-Muslim violence

    Police said t

    he clashes occurred in Godhra town on Wednesday

    , where 59 Hindus were burnt

    to death in a train compartment in 2002.

    The deaths

    triggered months of bloody Hindu-Muslim rioting in which nearly

    2000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.

    When police entered the predominantly Muslim area

    of Shatpool on Wednesday to arrest two people accused over the Godhra train

    carnage, a mob stood in their way, superintendent of police Piyush

    Patel said.

    Mayhem

    "As soon as the police reached Shatpool to arrest Salim Panwala

    and another Godhra accused, a huge crowd of Muslims collected and

    began pelting (them with) stones."

    The Babri mosque was destroyed
    by Hindu zealots in 1992

    Police said they fired four warning shots into the air and threw several

    teargas canisters to control the group.

    In the mayhem, 12 people were injured and a police

    sub-inspector and two head constables were also hurt, Patel said.

    He added the area was still tense late on Wednesday.

    Babri mosque

    Muslims and Hindus in Gujarat have been at loggerheads since Hindu zealots destroyed the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992.

    Hindus say the mosque was built on the birthplace of their deity-king Ram, and India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party have campaigned for a temple to be built in Ayodhya.

     

    However, Muslims want a mosque to be rebuilt on the site.

     

    Although Muslims were initially blamed for the 59 Hindus who were killed in Godhra in 1992, a subsequent investigation found that evidence of Muslim complicity was inconclusive.

    SOURCE: AFP


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