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Fresh Hindu-Muslim clash in India's Gujarat
AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Police imposed a curfew and arrested 85 people when Hindus and Muslims clashed in a small town in India's western state of Gujarat after a Hindu procession in the nearby city of Ahmedabad.
Police said Hindus and Muslims pelted stones at each other after mobs torched two cigarette kiosks late on Friday in Kheda, 22 miles from Ahmedabad, which bore the brunt of India's worst religious violence in a decade last February and March.
The annual Ahmedabad procession, which wound its way through some Muslim-dominated areas of the city, passed off peacefully and the cause of the unrest in Kheda was not immediately clear.
"We do not know what the provocation was. We are still investigating," Manoj Agarwal, a police official, told Reuters on Saturday. "The situation is under control now but we are making preventive arrests to maintain peace."
Hindus and Muslims live in close proximity in Kheda, a town of 22,000 people.
Officials said Ahmedabad was peaceful after Friday's procession. Muslims, who had taken shelter in relief camps fearing communal clashes, have started returning home.
"Some people have already left and others will go back by the evening," Yusuf Desai, an official of Ahmedabad's largest Shah Alam relief camp, told Reuters.
The procession was held under tight security, with 30,000 personnel on duty.
Officials say some 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, died in a wave of revenge killings and clashes in February and March. The attacks began after an arson attack on a train carrying Hindu devotees killed 59 people. Police blamed a Muslim mob.
Human rights groups put the death toll in the state at 2,500
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