New Delhi, Aug 2 (EFE).- More than 100 people have been arrested in the northern Indian state of Haryana amid heightened security on Wednesday in the area where clashes between Hindus and Muslims have left six dead and dozens injured.
Local Administration workers toe a burnt vehicle in the aftermath of riots, at Sohna Chowk, Haryana state, India, 01 August 2023. EFE-EPA/VINAY GUPTA
“Around 41 FIRs have been registered and 116 people have been arrested till now in Nuh alone,” Haryana’s Home Minister Anil Vij told reporters, referring to the town where the violence broke out during a massive Hindu religious procession.
Empty streets after a curfew was enforced in the aftermath of riots in Nuh, Haryana state, India, 01 August 2023. EFE-EPA/VINAY GUPTA
Many other people were also arrested in Gurugram, a city bordering the Indian capital of New Delhi and where a mob burned down a mosque and killed an imam, and in other nearby areas where clashes erupted such as Rewari and Sohna, he added.
A man walks past a burnt motorcycle in the aftermath of riots in Nuh, Haryana state, India, 01 August 2023. EFE-EPA/VINAY GUPTA
Vij raised the death toll across the state to six, which includes two security force members and four civilians and announced that a detailed probe on the incident would be conducted.
The clashes erupted when a Hindu religious procession, known as Shobha Yatra and organized by right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), passed through a Muslim-majority area in the Nuh district of Haryana on Monday.
“When we began our yatra the day before yesterday, only just after 15 minutes, there was no provocation from any side, stones started being pelted and petrol bombs were thrown. Even the shower of bullets came,” VHP General Secretary Surendra Jain told EFE.
Jain said that between 8,000 and 10,000 people had turned out for the religious event.
After the outbreak of violence, some 3,000 of them sought refuge in a nearby temple, he added.
Haryana’s Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said that the organizers of the procession had not informed the authorities about the number of attendees.
The area where the violence erupted is inhabited mostly by Muslims, who comprise about 15 percent of India’s population.
The clashes continued overnight and spread to other districts.
In Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, the sprawling city home to multiple skyscrapers and hundreds of multinational offices, a mob burned down a mosque and shot its imam.
India has previously witnessed bloody Hindu-Muslim clashes that have left thousands dead and injured.
The rise to power of the Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi coincided with the radicalization of the Hindu majority.
According to various human rights organizations, attacks against the Muslim minority also have increased since Modi came to power in 2014. EFE