Two people were killed and 14 injured in violence following a scuffle between Hindu and Muslim school students in Gujarat state, according to a senior official, media sources reported on Sunday.
The incident took place on Saturday at Vadavali village in Patan district of Gujarat, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital in the Patan town, The Hindu newspaper reported.
A crowd of about 5,000 people attacked Muslim residents and set fire to about 30 homes and dozens of vehicles at Vadavali village in Patan district on Saturday after Hindu students complained of misbehavior by Muslim students, K. K. Nirala, the district’s top administrative official said.
Members of the Muslim community retaliated by throwing stones, while police used teargas and fired seven rounds to disperse the crowd and control the violence, Nirala said. The violence lasted an hour before it was brought under control.
Asked what could have caused the incident, a senior police official told the newspaper that it all began with a brawl between students after an exam. “We are investigating why such violence broke out after a small tussle between children of two different communities,” he added.
History of trouble
Gujarat has a history of serious trouble. In 2002, when Modi was Chief Minister, rioters had killed about 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, according to estimates.
Critics have accused Modi of turning a blind eye to one of the worst outbreaks of religious violence in independent India.
Modi denied any involvement and in 2013 a panel appointed by the Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
The district official Nirala said the situation had been brought under control and members of the State Reserve Police have been told to stay in the village to maintain peace.