Hindu-Muslim clashes prompt Indian police to ban gatherings in affected areas

AHMEDABAD, India, April 11 (Reuters) – Clashes between Hindus and Muslims during a religious festival prompted Indian police to impose a curfew in a city and ban gatherings of more than four people in areas on Monday. affected from Gujarat and two other states.

A day earlier, at least one person had been killed and ten, including nine police officers, injured when a Hindu motorcade was pelted with rocks in a town in the western state of Gujarat.

In the central state of Madhya Pradesh, more than 35 people were injured in similar clashes, while the eastern state of Jharkand also suffered communal violence.

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“We have arrested seven people after the clashes and strict security measures have been put in place to avoid further tensions,” said MJ Chaudhari, a police official based in Khambat, Anand district, in the Gujarat, where an incident took place.

Authorities in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, have also imposed a curfew in parts of Himmatnagar city.

In 2002, Gujarat was plagued by deadly large-scale communal violence for about a month. According to rights groups, around 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. Modi was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat and a rising star of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Sunday festival marked the birth of the Hindu Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the god Vishnu.

Police last week imposed a curfew in the desert state of Rajasthan after a similar attack on a religious procession.

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Reporting by Sumit Khanna in Ahmedabad, Saurabh Sharma in Lucknow and Jatindra Dash in Bhubaneshwar. Written by Shilpa Jamkhandikar in Mumbai; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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