India: one dead in inter-communal clashes after the festival of the god Ram

A street in Sasaram in the state of Bihar, India, April 1, 2023 after violent inter-communal clashes. © AFP

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The state of Bihar has seen an explosion of inter-communal violence since the festival of the god Ram Thursday, March 30. Several Muslim neighborhoods were burned and one person died.


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It's hard to know how it all started. According to some media reports, an idol of the god Ram was set on fire at the end of the religious festival of Ram Navami, celebrating the birthday of the Hindu deity. But processions by the Hindu fundamentalist group Bajrang Dal have also reportedly sought confrontation in Muslim neighborhoods. Anyway, several cities in the state of Bihar went up in flames this weekend, explains our correspondent in India, Como Bastin

On social media, videos show Muslim neighborhoods ransacked, including a burned mosque. "They came and they burned everything, they stole everything from my house. The police were there, but did nothing against them. I have nothing left! " said a man from the city of Bihar Sharif, interviewed by several media. One person was shot dead Saturday in the city.

A mosque was set on fire by Hindutva extremists during Ram Navami violence in Bihar Sharif, Bihar.

— Md Asif Khan (@imMAK02) March 31, 2023

Local and federal governments blame each other

Those whom the resident of Bihar Sharif refers to are the Hindu extremists who often accompany festivals related to the god Ram. Many point the finger at the ruling BJP, which is close to fundamentalist groups. Home Minister Amit Shah, who had to cancel trips in light of the violence, blamed Bihar's chief minister, a former ally, on Sunday: "We will never trust the Bihar government again. In elections, vote overwhelmingly for the BJP. We will restore order by hanging all these rioters."

Tensions also affected the neighbouring state of West Bengal and six other Indian states. This Sunday, calm seems to have returned after several curfews and local internet cuts. Hundreds of riot police have been deployed in several areas. Nearly 100 people were arrested or remanded in custody after the violence, Bihar Sharif's police chief said. But concern and political tension remain high.


And with AFP)

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