Shooting, Rioting Kills 5 in India
Oct. 11, 2002
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BOMBAY, India (AP) _ Police shooting and rioting Friday among Hindu and Muslim groups in a town in western India killed at least five people and wounded 47 others, a government minister said.
It was not immediately clear how many victims had been killed or wounded by gunfire.
Police opened fire on mobs of Hindus and Muslims who were attacking each other with knives and stones during a general strike called by some Muslim organizations to protest remarks by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. The well-known Baptist minister called the founder of Islam a terrorists on a recent CBS television interview.
The violence broke out in Sholapur, 225 miles south of Bombay, the capital of western Maharashtra state, said Kirpa Shankar, the junior home minister of Maharashtra state .
The trouble started when a group of Muslims took to the streets and were challenged by Hindus.
An fighting prompted fighting among rival groups who attacked with knives and stones, the minister said. They also targeted some homes, shops and vehicles, police said.
Paramilitary soldiers were dispatch, but ``Tension prevails in the town,'' Shankar said.
Falwell's remarks had triggered street protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Monday.
The conservative Baptist minister told the television network Islam's prophet ``was a _ a violent man, a man of war.''
``Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses,'' Falwell said. ``I think Muhammad set an opposite example.''
Religious violence in India has already taken hundreds of lives this year.