An uneasy peace prevails in the communal riot-hit town of Burhanpur in western Madhya Pradesh with curfew being partially relaxed for the second day on Monday.
The town, known for its powerlooms and banana industry, had thrived on the economic interdependence between Hindus and Muslims. Old-timers hope peace prevails here once again, as it did during the Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992 and its gory aftermath in several states.
On Thursday, something snapped and a seemingly trivial incident sparked off riots.
Nine persons were killed—three in police firing—and more than 24 injured in the communal riots that began on Thursday night during a religious procession. A provocative song was being played on the music system accompanying the procession. Suddenly, the system ‘fell’ to the ground, triggering a stampede. Stoning ensued; shops and houses of both the communities were burnt.
The clashes continued on Friday and three persons were killed in police firing. Curfew was imposed in five police station areas. But the situation deteriorated and six more died.