Three Muslims burned alive in arson attack that ruined 20 homes in India with 14 arrests made

The arson attack occurred after the dead boy of a Hindu boy was found

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The Independent Online

At least three Muslims were burned to death in a village in India yesterday after their thatched huts were set on fire during a clash with Hindu groups, a government official said.

The violence erupted after the body of a 19-year-old Hindu boy was found in a rice field on Sunday more than a week after he went missing in Sarayian village, state administrator Atul Prasad of Bihar in north east India said.

Hindu fisherman blamed Muslims for killing the boy who was believed to have been in a relationship with a Muslim girl from the Ajitpur village in the Muzaffarpur district, Mr Prasad added.

The charred bodies of three people were found in two of many burned huts in the community, he said. Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the arson attack, The Times of India reported.

Hindus make up more than 80% of the population and Muslims nearly 13% of the 1.2 billion people living in India. They largely live peacefully in various parts of the country, but there is occasional violence.

The government announced 5 lakhs (£5,313) to be compensated to the families of the victims with 1 lakh (£1,060) also to be given to each of the 20 households in the village whose homes were ruined.

District officials confirmed that the situations are under control, however soldiers have been deployed to the villages and nearby communities to maintain order.

Additional reporting by Associated Press