Communal clashes in north India town kill 1


LUCKNOW, India — Indian police rushed security forces to a northern town where a clash between Hindu and Muslim groups left one person dead and three others injured during India’s National Day celebrations, police said on Saturday.

Uttar Pradesh state police spokesman Rahul Srivastava said the two groups shot guns and attacked each other with rocks on Friday in Kasganj, a small town in the state. The town is nearly 340 km northwest of Lucknow, the state capital.

Srivastava said police defused the situation and no fresh violence was reported on Saturday.

At least 49 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence after five shops were torched by a mob while they were returning from the cremation of Chandan Gupta who died in firing between two groups on Friday.

The rioting erupted as members of some hardline Hindu groups marched through a Muslim-dominated area of the small town.

Ripudaman Singh, Station House Officer, Kasganj, said the clash occurred after a group in Badu Nagar objected to certain slogans raised by motorcycle-borne participants of the “Tiranga Yatra”, which had started from the Bilram Gate area. According to police, another trigger for the clash was an altercation in which a member of one group allegedly slapped a youth of the other.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, following the clash, had issued an appeal through his official Twitter account for “peace and harmony” and had directed the administration to “take strict action against miscreants”.

Muslims comprise nearly 14 percent of India’s nearly 1.3 billion people. The two communities largely live peacefully, but simmering tensions lead to clashes at times. — Agencies