Ahmedabad, India — Three bomb explosions and a series of stabbings, firebomb attacks and police shootings Saturday in the western state of Gujarat left two people dead and more than 40 wounded, authorities said.
At least a dozen people have been killed the past week in a surge of Moslem-Hindu and intercaste rioting in the state of 36 million.
Student led demonstrations began three months ago protesting a state government plan to fix quotas for a new category of backward castes.
The state already has 31 percent of its government jobs and college seats reserved for lower castes.
Much of the violence Saturday occurred in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s main city.
Three bombs exploded in Moslem dominated areas of Ahmedabad, wounding 10 people, police reported.
They said one person was stabbed to death and 35 were hospitalized in Ahmedabad, with five people in serious condition with knife wounds.
In Broach, another man was fatally knifed and three people, including a woman, were stabbed, according to police.
They said three people were wounded when police fired to scatter rampaging mobs in Broach, and four people were wounded by police bullets in two towns close to Ahmedabad.
Officials said Hindus and Moslems fought street battles with knives, acid filled electric bulbs, gasoline soaked blazing rags, rocks and iron rods in Ahmedabad and several other state towns.
The government’s AllIndia Radio reported more than 100 people were arrested on charges of rioting and arson on Saturday.
Army troops patrolled the streets of the old sector of Ahmedabad where violence broke out Thursday during a Hindu religious parade.
Moslems hurled rocks from housetops at the Hindus staging the procession in defiance of a police ban, and the Hindus retaliated by setting fire to Moslem shops and homes. Army troops moved in and shot seven rioters to death.
Student agitators have continued their protest despite the state government announcement suspending for a year implementation of the 18percent increase in quotas for backward castes. The students now are demanding the scrapping of all caste based quotas.
Fare Forward, Brothers
Article extracted from this publication >> June 28, 1985