Police said the outburst of violence in Bombay followed 'a definite pattern'. Another 30 people were killed in stabbings around the city. Tensions between Hindus and Muslims had been festering in Bombay since early December when the demolition of a mosque in northern India by Hindu extremists ignited religious strife around the country in which more than 900 people died. In Bombay alone more than 200 were killed.
The city has a volatile mix of Muslim underworld gangs and Hindu neo-fascists. The latest fighting erupted after two port workers were stabbed to death, and the violence quickly spread to mixed Hindu-Muslim neighbourhoods.
The army was also dispatched to Ahmedabad, the Gujarati state capital, where at least 11 people were killed yesterday and another 80 injured in religious clashes.