Kuala Lumpur Post


2 dead after India madrasah demolition sparks religious clashes

DEHRADUN — Two people were killed in India and dozens more injured after religious clashes sparked by the destruction of a madrasah, officials said today, the latest in a spate of demolitions targeting Islamic structures.

Municipal authorities in the northern state of Uttarakhand had bulldozed the buildings on Thursday, claiming they had been built without permission.

Police said that Muslim protesters threw stones at them in the protests that followed, prompting them to fire tear gas in response.

Vandana Singh, an official in Haldwani district where the violence broke out, said that two had been killed in the clashes.

“Dozens are being treated in various hospitals of the city,” Singh told a press conference, adding that several police officers were among the injured.

“Orders have been given to shoot the rioters on sight,” she added.

Singh said that vehicles had been set alight by protesters.

Authorities in Haldwani suspended Internet services, closed schools, imposed a curfew and banned large gatherings after the violence broke out.

Hindu nationalist groups have been emboldened in their campaign against Muslim religious structures since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office a decade ago.

Last month Modi inaugurated a grand new Hindu temple in the northern city of Ayodhya, built on the site of a centuries-old mosque that was destroyed by Hindu zealots in 1992. –AFP