PATNA (AP) – At least three Muslims were burned to death Sunday when their thatched huts were set on fire during a clash between Hindu and Muslim groups in a village in eastern India, a government official said.
Atul Prasad, a Bihar state administrator, said the violence erupted after the body of a young Hindu boy was found on a farm in Sarayian village more than a week after he went missing.
Prasad said the Hindu fishermen community blamed Muslims for killing the boy who was friendly with a Muslim girl from the village, nearly 105 kilometers (65 miles) north of Patna, the capital of Bihar state.
The charred bodies of three Muslims were found in huts set on fire, he said.
Police have arrested eight Hindu villagers for burning nearly two dozen huts in the poor Muslim community.
Prasad said the situation remains tense but under control in the village.
Hindus comprise more than 80 percent and Muslims nearly 13 percent of India s 1.2 billion people. They largely live together peacefully in various parts of the country, but there are occasional incidents of violence.