Death toll rises to 31 in religious riot

2013-09-10 18:16


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - The death toll from Hindu-Muslim clashes in India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh has climbed to 31, police said on Tuesday, but the violence has been brought under control.

The unrest, during which mobs burned houses and a mosque, erupted over the weekend in the village of Muzaffarnagar, 105km northeast of capital New Delhi.

"The death toll has risen to 31, but now everything is peaceful. Things are fully under control - but we are on high alert," Lucknow police inspector RR Bharti told AFP by telephone.

The central government on Monday rushed 5 000 extra paramilitary personnel to the affected area of the state, which has a history of religion and caste-based violence in its 200-million population.

Uttar Pradesh witnessed riots in 1992 following the razing of a mosque by a Hindu mob. More than 2 000 people - mostly Muslims - were killed after the 16th-century structure in Ayodhya was demolished.

The latest violence has triggered speculation that parties are seeking to polarise the politically pivotal state along religious lines ahead of general elections due next year.

Security forces including the army were patrolling in riot-hit areas - staging so-called "flag marches" intended to show their presence, Bharti said.

Villagers crowded police stations and mosques seeking safety as local media reported that mobs had ambushed people attempting to flee violence-torn areas on Monday.

"I have lost three of my relatives and 11 people from my village have died so far," Khairunissa, a Muslim woman who goes by one name, told the Press Trust of India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed "grief and shock" over the violence on Monday and promised "all required assistance" to the state government for "tackling the situation".

The clashes erupted late on Saturday after thousands of Hindu farmers held a meeting to demand justice over the killing of three Hindu men who had protested when a woman was allegedly harassed.

Inflammatory speeches calling for action against Muslims were allegedly made during the meeting and the farmers were attacked as they were returning home, triggering an angry backlash, a senior police officer said.

Clashes then broke out in neighbouring villages between Hindus and Muslims and the army stepped in to try to control the situation.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.