Once a flourishing textile township, Malegaon has a history of blood-soaked riots that have left a trail of destruction.
The town, with a population of nearly eight lakh, of which 75 per cent are Muslims, grew over the years mainly due to the relocation of weavers' community that migrated from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and who are at loggerheads with the local, old Marathi converts to Islam known as the Deccani Muslims.
Local politics had led to violence on several occasions and the town burned for five days in October 2001 when protests against the US action in Afghanistan by an ex-MLA triggered riots in which 15 people were killed.
Several people lost their lives in the riots of 1984, considered as the worst-ever yet as also in 1992 when a procession by a local leader over the possible demolition of the Babri mosque triggered violence. The town also witnessed large-scale violence after the demolition.
The second town in the state after Bhivandi to have 75 per cent Muslim population, Malegaon, of late, has been in news for seizure of arms and ammunition from suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba cadre.
One of the July 11 Mumbai serial blasts suspects was also arrested in Malegaon.
A large number of paramilitary forces now keep a vigil to avoid a communal flare-up in Malegaon where 31 people were killed in three blasts on Friday.