Sectarian Violence Breaks Out Between Hindus and Muslims

August 19, 2007

Author: Kalpit Parajuli

Source: AsiaNews

Nepali Police regained control in Kapilvastu district, some 200 kilometres west of the capital of Kathmandu, after two days of sectarian violence between Muslims and Hindus. A ceasefire remains in place. But in nearby fields five headless and mutilated bodies were found yesterday; the likely victims Hindus. Residents who could fled to bordering districts despite the interruption to regular overland communication.

Violence broke out on Sunday when a Muslim political leader and former head of an anti-Maoist group was killed. His erstwhile former enemies, local Maoists, are suspected.

When the news became public an angry crow attacked vehicles and torched the homes of more than 200 Hindus.

A Hindu driver was killed on the road and many others were injured.

A crowd attacked government buildings setting fire to more than 200 offices, beating to death a police official, Hasan Puri. Many stores were pillaged.

Hindus retaliated by attacking and beating Muslims. Two mosques were destroyed and fire was set to houses owned by Muslims.

Despite the ceasefire imposed by the authorities, protests by both groups continue.