|Communal tensions high in Indian state after renewed violence, four slain
India stepped up security after another outbreak of communal violence led to the deaths of four people in the same region hit by deadly clashes last month, police said.
The villagers were killed overnight close to Muzaffarnagar, 105 kilometers northeast of the capital New Delhi, where mobs last month burnt houses during Muslim-Hindu riots. Then, 50 people were killed and hundreds to fled.
Uttar Pradesh state government deployed 500 paramilitary troops to Muzaffarnagar early today as a precaution, while eight people were arrested in the overnight violence, the officer said.
“Last night, four people died in nearby villages, including a woman. They were separate incidents,'' the senior district police official told AFP.
It is unclear whether the latest violence is liked to communal tensions in and around Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh state, which has a history of religious and caste-based clashes.
According to police, the first incident involved clashes between two groups of people from neighboring villages over a land dispute, while a woman was killed by a different group of villagers in a separate incident.
Muzaffarnagar district remains tense. Many who fled last month's violence are still in camps. Those clashes erupted when Hindus allegedly killed a Muslim man supposedly for sexually harassing a woman, triggering a deadly retaliation that quickly spiralled into three days of riots.
Uttar Pradesh, with its population of 200 million, witnessed riots in 1992 following the razing of a mosque by a Hindu mob. More than 2,000 people – mostly Muslims –
were killed after the 16th-century structure in Ayodhya was demolished.