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Curfew in central Indian town over religious clash
July 4, 2008 / 2:40 PM / 9 years ago

Curfew in central Indian town over religious clash

BHOPAL, India, July 4 (Reuters) - Authorities in central India imposed a curfew on Friday after two people were killed and several injured in clashes between Hindu groups and Muslim residents over the transfer of land to a Hindu shrine.

Four people had been killed on Thursday in Indore, a remote town in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

The violence was sparked by the transfer of nearly 100 acres of forest land in Indian Kashmir to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board to erect shelters for thousands of pilgrims who annually trek to the Himalayan cave shrine.

The Kashmir government backed down after protests by Muslims who said the land transfer was aimed at changing the demography of the Muslim-majority region. The reversal of the decision, in turn, provoked an angry backlash from Hindus.

On Friday, two more people were killed in Indore, and several injured when police clashed with both Hindu and Muslim mobs.

“Sporadic incidents of stone-pelting by mobs were reported at many spots, and police were also targeted at a few places,” Rakesh Shrivastava, a senior government official said.

Authorities said they were forced to impose a curfew in the town, to avoid more riots breaking out in the evening. (Writing by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Alex Richardson) (For the latest Reuters news on India see:in.reuters.com , for blogs see blogs.reuters.com/in/.)

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