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Three-fold surge in ‘communal incidents’ in Bihar after BJP-JD(U) parted ways

Since June 2013, when the two parties split and up to just a month ago, in the run-up to the Assembly elections, “communal incidents” number has surged to 667.

Written by Appu Esthose Suresh | Jehanabad/ Saran/ Nalanda |
Updated: August 21, 2015 3:28:06 pm
bihar riots, bihar communal clashes, bihar assembly polls, bihar polls, Bihar riots, Bihar communal clashes, bihar assembly polls, Bihar polls, Bihar communal incidents, BJP, JD(U), BJp JD(U)alliance, Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad, Bihar, Nitish Kumar, BJP, bihar polls, bihar poll campaign, Indian express A mob gathers in Jehanabad on June 25 after a land dispute led to clashes.

Since January 2010, for the last three and a half years that the BJP and Janata Dal (United) were together in power, there were 226 “communal incidents” across Bihar — incidents where Hindus and Muslims, the two largest religious groups in the state, were pitted against each other. Each incident was recorded by the local police station and classified as “communal”.

Read: Tension in areas where BJP made big electoral gains

But since June 2013, when the two parties split and up to just a month ago, in the run-up to the Assembly elections, that number has surged to 667.

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This is among the key findings of a two-month investigation by The Indian Express of police records from 38 districts of the state and a journey criss-crossing the 18 districts that account for more than 70 per cent of these incidents.

Read: Fault lines in Nitish, Manjhi, Lalu backyard

bsuisfgaMost of these incidents are clashes sparked off by clearly deliberate triggers: dumping of animal parts in places of worship (pigs near mosques, beef near temples); provocative sloganeering during processions passing through Muslim-majority neighbourhoods; and communalisation of even trivial incidents such as a dispute during a cricket match as to who was hit by a ball; vandalisation of idols.

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