Hindu Mobs Wound 2 Muslims in India


Filed at 3:22 p.m. ET


AHMADABAD, India (AP) -- An enemy of India

meticulously planned the attack on a well-known Hindu

temple in western India to inflame hatred between

Hindus and Muslims, a top official said Thursday, in a

dig at rival Pakistan.

``They could be from an enemy country ... from outside

India,'' Chief Minister Narendra Modi said, using

India's typical way of indirectly blaming its longtime

rival, Pakistan.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied any involvement in

Tuesday's assault, which left 33 people dead and 76

wounded. Pakistan has also condemned the attack, which

occurred in the western state of Gujarat where Modi is

the top elected official.

``The terrorists were well trained, experienced and

highly motivated. From the type of firearms and

ammunition and the latest equipment they had on them,

they did not look like local people,'' Modi told a

news conference in Ahmadabad, the commercial hub of


Paramilitary police and soldiers were deployed across

Gujarat to prevent revenge attacks against local

Muslims. Gujarat was the site of widespread sectarian

violence earlier this year that killed at least 1,000,

mostly Muslims.

The gunmen in the temple attack have not been

identified, but police said they carried a letter

saying they ``could not tolerate what happened to

children, women and Muslims during the Gujarat


The massacre raised fears of Hindu retaliation like

the earlier riots, which followed a Feb. 27 attack in

Gujarat in which Muslims allegedly set fire to a train

carrying Hindu nationalists.

Hindu nationalists marched in protest and mobs stabbed

two Muslim men in Gujarat on Thursday, as thousands of

Muslims fled their homes to seek safety. They had

called for a nationwide strike to protest the temple

raid, and brandished weapons and shouted anti-Pakistan

slogans on the streets in the Gujarat town of Baroda,

police said.

The strike shut down shops, schools and transportation

in many parts of the country. Police detained hundreds

of workers of the World Hindu Council.

Protesters threw stones and stopped some passenger

trains in Bombay, where most residents stayed home.

Life in major cities in Uttar Pradesh state, home to

the largest number of Indian Muslims, was paralyzed,

including in Agra, site of the Taj Mahal, where shops

and offices were closed and there was no public


There was no sign of a strike Thursday in most parts

of India's capital, New Delhi. However, shops were

closed in the Muslim-dominated Old City near the main


In the town of Surat in Gujarat, Hindu mobs stabbed

one Muslim as he got out of a three-wheeled auto

rickshaw and another as he came out of his house, said

Police Commissioner V.K. Gupta. He said both men were

hospitalized and two Hindus had been arrested.

The town is about 190 miles north of Gandhinagar,

where the temple attack occurred.

Muslim families fled neighborhoods with no police

presence to government-run relief camps set up after

the earlier violence. The population at one camp

jumped to 2,300 people from 1,300 overnight.

``What if there is another backlash?'' said Ershad

Sayyed, who left his home Wednesday night to join 100

others in a mosque.

``I am carrying whatever little cash I had, and some

clothes. I hope nothing happens,'' said Maqsud

Qureshi, a widow with a young daughter. ``I pray that

this mindless violence and bloodshed ends soon.''

He said there were similarities between the temple

assault and an attack on the Indian Parliament in

December, which India blamed on Pakistan and pushed

the two sides to the brink of a war.

He said the temple attackers had come with supplies of

food and ammunition and had planned to take hostages.

In the earlier attack on parliament, police believe

the militants also intended to take prisoners because

they came supplied with food and rope to bind



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