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Ethnic conflict in India

In spite of being a secular democracy with generally peaceful co-existence amongst its diverse ethnic and religious communities, India has witnessed occasional bouts of large-scale violence sparked by underlying tensions between sections of its majority Hindu and minority Muslim communities.

Over the last decade, the focal point of the communal tension has been the site of the disputed Babri Mosque in Ayodhya which was destroyed in 1992.

In the 2002 Gujarat violence of February/March 2002, about 58 (Hindu) passengers died in a fire on a train, and at least about 800 people died in the communal riots that followed. The BJP state government in Gujarat led by Narendra Modi came under fire for the perceived ineptitude of the administration to respond in time and prevent the breakdown of law and order, and some charge that the VHP supported the violence.

Table of contents
1 1992
2 1993
3 February 27, 2002
4 February 28, 2002
5 March 1, 2002
6 August 2003
7 See also
8 External links


Thousands of Hindu activists razed a 16th-century Muslim mosque (the Babri Mosque) in Ayodhya, sparking nationwide riots between Hindus and Muslims that killed more than 2,000 people.


A series of 12 bomb blasts rock Mumbai city, allegedly masterminded by the Dawood Ibrahim gang. Dawood was a fugitive sheltered in Karachi, Pakistan. This was supposedly in retaliation for the 1992 post-Babri riots.

February 27, 2002

58 people, some apparently Hindus on a pilgrimage organised by the VHP, died in Godhra when a carriage on the Sabarmati Express train was surrounded by local (Muslim) inhabitants was soaked in a flammable substance and caught fire. Some people claim that the local people (Muslims) lit the fire, while forensic reconstructions suggest that the fire was lit from inside the train. The train was en route to Ahmedabad. A 17-year-old was later killed in Godhra by police trying to disrupt mobs. See 2002 Gujarat violence.

February 28, 2002

In retaliation for the previous day's violence, Hindu rioters set fire to about fifty buildings, mostly Muslim-owned, in Ahmedabad, killing more than 60 Muslims. Curfews are ordered in thirty towns in Gujarat.

March 1, 2002

28 people die in continuing violence in Ahmedabad. Police shoot and kill five while attempting to control rioters.

August 2003

Two powerful bomb blasts rock Mumbai again leaving more than 50 people dead. These attacks were believed to have been carried out by Muslims.

See also

External links