ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Communalism and Communal Violence 1999

While 1999 did not see major communal disturbances, there is a growing tension among Christian and Muslim communities and the majority community.

IN 1999 there were no major communal riots claiming large number of lives    as in the years immediately after the demolition of Babri masjid. However, this does not mean that communal violence has been absent or that there have been no bouts of communal violence, as in the 1980s like Biharsharif, or Meerut or Bhagalpur. Also communalism has been quite rampant as organisations like the VHP or Bajrang Dal, etc, have been quite active. 1998 closed with the Suratkal riot in Karnataka which claimed more than 12 lives. Also in the Dangs in Gujarat violence broke out against the Christian tribals with attacks on their churches.

Communal violence in Suratkal continued in January. The trouble in Suratkal, a BJP stronghold in Karnataka, had started with eve-teasing incident on December 8 involving a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy. The Muslim youth was bashed up by the Hindus and three of them were arrested. The Hindu Jagran Vedike organised a big crowd at the police station demanding the release of those arrested. Later in the last week of December communal violence broke out in which Muslims suffered a great deal and it continued right into January. The chief minister of Karnataka J H Patel ordered an inquiry into these riots.

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