Temple dispute sparks more clashes in India

NEW DELHI (Reuter) - At least six people were killed in southern India yesterday in fighting between Hindus and Muslims over a religious dispute in a remote northern town, news reports said.

Four people were killed in the southern state of Kerala and two in the western state of Maharashtra. Scores were hurt after police opened fire to disperse rioters. Fighting in Kerala erupted on Sunday over the dispute in Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh state, where militant Hindus plan to build a temple on the site of a 16th-century mosque. A Muslim mob attacked Hindus performing military-style drills and at least 37 people were injured, the Times of India newspaper said. The fighting continued yesterday. The Hindu party in power in Uttar Pradesh said it had sent an emissary to dissuade Hindu fanatics from flouting court orders banning the building of the temple. This was not enough for Shankarrao Chavan, the Indian Home Minister, who told parliament: 'We will not watch silently, we have contingency plans'.