Five persons were killed today in the city of Allahabad as Hindu-Moslem clashes continued for the ninth day in northern India.
Nearly 200 persons have died in the violence, which began after a pig -- considered unclean by Moslems -- wandered too close to a Moslem prayer meeting in the city of Moradabad. Eighty-six persons died in the ensuing riot, and violent protests broke out in seven other cities, including the walled Old Delhi section of India's capital.
Today's clashes began after police relaxed their curfew in Allahabad. The curfew was quickly reimposed, and troops were moved in.
[Agence France-Presse reported that the Army was alerted today in the city of Lucknow, where a piece of pork was found near a mosque.]
Meanwhile, 226 persons were arrested today in Kashmir, India's only predominantly Moslem state, located on the Pakistani border. The arrests were part of a government crackdown on fundamentalist Moslem organizations.
More than 3,000 persons have been arrested since the violence began.
The spread of Hindu-Moslem disturbances -- which officials say are among the worst in India's turbulent 33 year history as an independent nation -- has raised disturbing questions here about whether the violence represents the first public appearance in this country of the new fervor of militant Islam that is moving across the world.
While the overwhelming majority of India's nearly 680 million people are Hindus, its 75 million Moslems -- about 11 percent of the population -- make this the third-largest Islamic state in the world behind Indonesia and Bangladesh.
But the large Moslem population here plays a little part in the economic, cultural or intellectual life of the nation. Most of India's educated, wealthy and politically oriented Moslem elite moved in the late 1940s to Pakistan, which was created as an Islamic nation when the two countries were carved from British India on Aug. 15, 1947.
"In India, the Moslem is a third-class citizen in a country where second-class citizens are below the poverty line," said one Western observer.
Tensions between Hindus and Moslems always run close to the surface here, with communal clashes happening just about every year.
"These blood baths," wrote Satindira Singh in the northern Indian newspaper The Tribune, "are a cruel reminder of the fragile nature of Indian unity and nationhood even after 33 years of independence."
What marked this month's riots, according to observers here, was the unusual way they spread, and the indication that some Moslems, in northern India at least were becoming more forceful in pushing their protests.
The disturbances began on Aug. 13 in the brass-working Uttar Pradesh city of Moradabad when a pig was let loose in the idgah, an outdoor Islamic prayer area where at least 15,000 Moslem faithful were attending services marking Id, the end of the Ramadan holy days. The appearance of a pig in a holy area is close to desecration.
Heavy contingents of mostly Hindu police, on patrol outside the idgah in case of trouble, refused to catch the pig. That started the riot in which 86 persons -- including four police constables, a district magistrate and 55 persons caught in a stampede -- were killed.
Within days the violence had spread to other cities in Uttar Pradesh.
While Morabad is a largely Moslem city, the surrounding towns have the usual Hindu majorities. In those towns, according to observers, Hindus took off after Moslems.