One killed, 14 hurt in communal strife in Modi's home state

NEW DELHI • One person was killed and about 14 injured when violence erupted following a scuffle between Muslim and Hindu students in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, a senior administrative official said yesterday.

A crowd of about 5,000 people attacked Muslim residents and set dozens of homes and vehicles on fire at Vadavali village in Patan district last Saturday after Hindu students complained of misbehaviour by Muslim students, said Mr K. K. Nirala, the district's top administrative official. Members of the Muslim community retaliated by throwing stones, and police used tear gas and fired seven rounds to disperse the crowd and control the violence, Mr Nirala said.

Gujarat has a history of serious communal trouble. According to estimates, rioters killed about 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, in the state in 2002.

Mr Modi was chief minister at the time and he was accused of turning a blind eye to one of the worst outbreaks of religious violence in independent India. He denied any involvement in the unrest and, in 2013, a panel appointed by the Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Mr Nirala said the situation had been brought under control and three companies of the State Reserve Police have been asked to stay in the village to maintain peace.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2017, with the headline 'One killed, 14 hurt in communal strife in Modi's home state'. Print Edition | Subscribe