03/30/2010, 00.00
INDIA
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Hindu festival ends in bloody clashes with Muslims

by Nirmala Carvalho
One person is dead and hundreds are injured in Hyderabad. Sources tell AsiaNews that politicians trying to get rid of the current chief minister are behind the incident.
Hyderabad (AsiaNews) – An indefinite curfew has been put in place in the Indian city of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) after one person was killed and 200 people injured in clashes between Hindus and Muslims. The order was imposed last night on the old city as federal authorities sent in 1,800 paramilitary troops.

Clashes (pictured) began on Friday in the Musarambagh area during celebrations of the Hindu festival of Ram Navami, after Hindus tried to resist Muslims removing Hindu flags and banners. This was followed by an incident in which a goshala or cowshed was set on fire, killing four cows, triggering more violence.

On Monday afternoon, the situation seemed under control, but matters took a serious turn when a man was stabbed to death in the evening.

The authorities have not yet confirmed the number of injured, but local sources say it could be as high as 200.

“Several received knife injuries on their wrists. It was a clear attempt to cut nerves, which would have resulted in faster death,” they said.

Sources told AsiaNews that politicians are to blame. “Politicians regularly fan the flames in the old city. The latest violence, which left one dead and hundreds of injured, is part of a power struggle inside the Congress party to get rid of the chief minister. Politicians are causing the tensions for their ambitions of power.”

“Violence in the old city is nothing new,” the sources said. This part of town “has seen clashes between Hindus and Muslims in the past. It is known that politicians hire unemployed youths to create disturbances in the State.”

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