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Muslims burned to death in India

More than 800 people are believed to have been killed across Gujarat in a wave of revenge killings
More than 800 people are believed to have been killed across Gujarat in a wave of revenge killings  

From Satinder Bindra
CNN New Delhi Bureau Chief

AHMEDABAD, India (CNN) -- A day ahead of a visit by India's prime minister to violence-racked western India, fresh religious unrest has flared up with five Muslims burned to death in Gujarat.

They were killed when the house they were in was burned by a mob overnight, police in Gujarat state said on Wednesday

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is due to visit the riot-torn state Thursday and is scheduled to visit the areas worst hit by recent violence between Hindus and Muslims.

Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat and member of Vajpayee's ruling BJP, has come under fire for not doing more to clamp down on the violence that has racked the western Indian state.

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A proposed temple site in the sacred town of Ayodhya was the flashpoint for violence after a train carrying Hindu campaigners was firebombed by a suspected group of Muslims in February.

Fifty-eight people were killed in the train attack, which sparked bloody mob riots and secular violence throughout Gujarat.

The Hindu campaigners want to build the temple on the ruins of a mosque, destroyed nine years ago by Hindus who believe it was built on the birthplace of a Hindu god.

The mosque's destruction triggered nationwide riots at the time that left thousands dead.

Following the train attack, hundreds of people were torched alive and buildings and homes razed until security forces gained control of the situation in mid-March.

The estimated death toll has been put at more than 800.

As a result, paramilitary forces in full anti-riot gear were deployed in and around the town to restore order and tens of thousands of police were deployed across the country.

Nearly 20,000 arrests were made in an effort to prevent further religious violence.





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