After Bombing Attacks at a Malegaon Mosque, Rising Anger and Division

September 9, 2006

Source: BBC News

On September 9, 2006 BBC News reported, "The BBC's Zubair Ahmed visits the town of Malegaon in India a day after it was hit by bomb attacks to find residents seething with anger. 'What goes around comes around,' said a local police officer. The tongue-in-cheek remark was meant to be an off-the-record comment. But that just summed up the reputation of Malegaon, a dusty town of 700,000 people, two-thirds of them Muslims, in the eyes of officials, who often brand it as a hotbed of support for home-grown as well international Islamic militant organisations. Indeed its reputation was not helped when a large cache of arms and ammunition was seized from men who were born and raised here a few weeks before the Mumbai bomb blasts two months ago. The town, home to a large number of Muslim weavers, has been officially declared sensitive by the Maharashtra state police chief, P.S. Pasricha. But this is a tag vehemently resented by local Muslims. A local weaver Nayeemuddin said: 'If we were volatile, there would have been retaliation by us. But we have been very peaceful, despite a heavy loss of lives.' But some of them did turn violent. When the two bombs went off in the town soon after Friday prayers, they expressed their resentment by attacking policemen and their vehicles soon after the bomb blasts."