November 13, 2008 / 5:09 AM / in 11 years

CORRECTED-India police arrest Hindu monk over bomb attack

(Corrects ninth paragraph to state Guwahati is Assam’s main city and not its capital. Bombs killed more than 80 people not just in the city but across the state)

By Sharat Pradhan

LUCKNOW, India, Nov 12 (Reuters) - A Hindu monk was arrested on Wednesday by Indian police investigating a wave of bomb attacks that have killed more than 200 people this year.

The 36-year-old man, head of a Hindu monastery, was charged with conspiring in an attack on a predominantly Muslim town about 200 miles east of the port city of Mumbai.

The bombing, which took place in September, killed four people.

Police said the man Sudhakar Dwivedi, who often used the alias Swami Amritanand, was arrested in Kanpur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, about 600 hundred miles away from scene of the blast in Malegaon.

Earlier this month four other Hindus, one of them a senior army officer, were arrested in connection with the Malegaon attack and a second bombing in Modasa, more than 200 miles north of Mumbai.

There have been bomb attacks this year in the major cities of Bangalore, New Delhi, and Jaipur.

For years, bombings in India have mostly been blamed by the authorities on Islamists seeking to foment hatred between the majority Hindus and minority Muslims.

Police have detained dozens of Muslims whom they suspected of involvement in the attacks.

In October, more than 80 people were killed when 11 bombs ripped through the state of Assam, including its main city Guwahati. An Islamist group claimed responsibility.

In August, two suspected Hindu militants died while trying to build a bomb in the northern town of Kanpur. (Writing by Krittivas Mukherjee; editing by Catherine Bosley)

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