By Pervez Bari, Special to Arab News
Sunday 20 May 2001
Last Update 20 May 2001 2:32 am
BHOPAL, 20 May — Uneasy calm prevailed during curfew in Manasa, a town in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Muslim residents are sending their women and children outside the city as a precaution. Manasa witnessed widespread incidents of arson on Thursday; the perpetrators were Hindu fundamentalists.
Muslim houses and shops were burned resulting in a loss of 2.5 millions rupees. Communal tension was created on May 17 when unidentified persons allegedly removed an idol from land allotted to Muslims for burying their dead. The ensuing riots and fires left 25 shops, eight kiosks and two houses belonging to Muslims in ashes.
The police have rounded up 107 people in connection with the incidents though the ringleaders remain at large. On Friday the curfew was relaxed for seven hours and a large number of women and children fled the town. The district administration is making no efforts to stop fleeing residents.