Officials probe politicians' roles in India clashes

Sept. 9, 2013 at 8:20 AM
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MUZAFFARNAGAR, India, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- India's Uttar Pradesh government is probing politicians' involvement in clashes between Hindus and Muslims that left at least 28 people dead, officials said.

A home department official told the Indo-Asian News Service that government officials are "collecting proof of [politicians'] role in inciting mobs, mobilizing the crowds for the Mahapanchayat, which later triggered the violence."

At least 28 people died -- among those a television journalist -- and dozens more were injured after clashes began Saturday in Muzaffarnagar. The violence was sparked by the killing of three villagers who objected to the harassment of a young woman in northern India.

In Uttar Pradesh, one inspector, a deputy inspector general of police, an inspector general of police and the commissioner of Meerut were fired Monday, IANS said, though their roles in the clashes were not reported.

Government officials also called on the cyber unit of the state police to trace the origins of a "provocative and fake" video falsely showing the killing of two Hindu youths on Aug. 27. The video, which was circulated widely on the Internet, was actually filmed years ago in Pakistan or Afghanistan, The New York Times reported.

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