Thursday, November 30, 2006

Statue attack sparks Hindu riots in Mumbai

Thousands of low-caste Hindus attacked police, vehicles and shut shops in India's financial hub Mumbai on Thursday to protest against the desecration of a statue of their leader and founder of the constitution.

Violence also flared in several towns across the western state of Maharashtra, where protesters burnt buses and threw stones at passing traffic, injuring dozens of people.

Protesters said they were angry that a statue of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a low-caste Hindu who authored India's democratic constitution that prohibits caste-based discrimination, had been damaged on Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh state.

"We want police to arrest those who broke Baba Saheb's (Ambedkar's) statue. Otherwise, we will burn Maharashtra," a man shouted at reporters before being dragged away by police in Mumbai. Ambedkar was born in Maharashtra and Mumbai is the capital.

"There are reports of some sporadic incidents. However, things are under control," said Arup Pattnaik, Mumbai police joint commissioner.

But huge groups carrying posters and banners were seen closing shops and clashing with police in several areas of the city.

Witnesses said police used batons and fired tear gas shells to disperse unruly mobs in the city's Worli, Bandra and Chembur neighbourhoods. Police denied the reports but added "several" people had been arrested. Curfews were imposed in some towns.


Source : Reuters

Live burning train video

Online Indian News TV : IBN 7

Other Link to news : Rediff, Hindu, Hidustan Times, NDTV
Images : Rediff

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