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Police in India have arrested 14 people after communal violence broke out during a Hindu religious procession in New Delhi.
Indian authorities said Hindu and Muslim groups in Jahangirpuri, a neighborhood in northwest New Delhi, threw stones at each other during a religious procession celebrating the birth of the Hindu god, Hanuman.
It follows similar reports of religious clashes in recent weeks between the majority Hindu and minority Muslim communities at religious processions across the country.
At least nine people, including eight police officers, were injured and treated in hospital, a senior police officer told local media.
Although communal clashes have broken out ever since the British partition in 1947, observers say religious polarisation has risen under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
A string of religious attacks earlier this month, which included the death of one person and left others injured, has led to criticism of Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
The party has emboldened hard-line religious groups in recent years to take up causes that they say defend the Hindu faith.
The incident which led to the arrest of 14 people, was the worst violence in New Delhi since 2020, when 53 people died in riots over a controversial citizenship law.
Videos on social media show streets in Jahangirpuri littered with broken glass and stones while photos show heavily damaged vehicles.
In response, leaders from 13 opposition parties wrote a statement urging Prime Minister Modi to condemn the wave of religious attacks and raised concerns over the "recent outburst" of communal violence across states.
The leaders said they are "extremely anguished" at the way in which "issues related to food, dress, faith, festivals and language are being deliberately used by sections of the ruling establishment to polarise our society".
However, Modi’s minority affairs minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, played down recent incidents and denied that intolerance among religious communities is worsening.