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Heavy police deployed, internet service cut as violent clashes spread in 8 Indian states

Bihar, April 02, 2023 (PPI-OT):Authorities deployed hundreds of riot police and cut mobile internet services in parts of eastern India on Sunday after violent clashes erupted in at least eight states during a Hindu religious festival. Police said a Muslim was shot dead in the Nalanda district of Bihar state on Saturday after Hindus attacked Muslims in the town of Biharsharif. This came a day after Hindu mobs fought running battles and set fire to homes and shops during at times frenzied public celebrations of Ram Navami.

Hindu festivals regularly feature hundreds of people – sometimes brandishing swords, guns and tridents – provocatively marching through Muslim neighbourhoods with religious music pulsating through powerful sound systems. Biharsharif police chief Shibli Nomani said nearly 100 people have been detained over violence that erupted on Thursday when thousands of Hindus rallied on the streets and paraded through Muslim-dominated areas.

Similar violence was reported in Modi’s home state of Gujarat on Thursday in western India where clashes were reported in Vadodara along with Aurangabad in the western region of Maharashtra. Critics say that hard-line Hindu groups have been emboldened since Modi, who was Gujarat state chief minister during huge riots there in 2002, was elected prime minister in 2014. Last year, similar clashes were reported across several cities on Ram Navami, including in New Delhi and in Jharkhand in eastern India where one person was killed.

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