By Mubasshir Mushtaq
NEW DELHI (AA), Oct 30 – At least three people were killed late Wednesday in a fresh outbreak of communal violence between Hindus and Muslims in the Muzaffarnagar city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The three victims – Afroze (20), Meherban (21), and Ajmal – were beaten to death in clashes in the Muhammad Purraisingh village, the Press Trust of India quoted district magistrate Kaushal Raj as saying.
They were residents of a makeshift relief camp set up in the aftermath of a communal riot which killed at least 60 people and displaced 45,000 others last month.
Sources told Anadolu Agency that the clashes started with a verbal spat between members of two communities.
In a bout of violence that broke out on September 7, at least 60 people were killed in Muzaffarnagar and neighboring towns and villages after a Muslim man was killed by the brother and cousin of a Hindu girl for allegedly harassing her.
The two killers — from the Hindu Jat community — were reportedly lynched by the family of the slain Muslim.
The riot came high on the agenda of the National Integration Council (NIC), a government’s advisory body headed by the Prime Minister of India, during its annual meeting on September 23.
“The Muzaffarnagar violence led to a huge loss of lives and property,” Premier Manmohan Singh had told the 148-member NIC.
Three UP lawmakers, including two from the right-wing opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have been arrested on charges of making “inflammatory” speeches.
One lawmaker allegedly shared a fabricated video on YouTube that served stoke communal tension.