Area: Godhra, Gujurat State, Bharat (India)
Cause of Death: Stoning, Burning Hindu's Alive
Responsible: 2,000 Muslim Mob from Signal Falia Area
Death Count: 59 (Initial Incident Only)
Time Period: 2002
Dharmic Faiths: Hindus
The morning of the 27th of February 2002 would witness a pre-planned arson attack on 4 coaches full of Hindu pilgrims and Karsevak's (Volunteers) were returning from a religious event at Ayodhya. The Hindu's were returning from a pilgrimage to the site of the original Ram Mandir on the Sambarti Express train. As they pulled into the Godhra station the emergency brake was pulled and a 2,000 strong muslim mob besieged the train. What started out as stone throwing from the peaceful mob, soon turned to arson and they set alight 4 coaches, killing 59 people, of those 27 women and 10 children. Screams could be heard inside of women trying to save their children from being burnt alive. Initial investigations hinted at some sort of accident or internal fire, but the pre soaked rags that were thrown inside the carriages and 140 litres of petrol used in the attack were secured hours earlier by the ringleaders of the muslim mob proved otherwise.
Investigations into the incident were riddled with issues and stifled by politics but they concluded that the fire was pre planned and intentionally started by the mob. Of the 31 that were eventually convicted of being ring leaders in the brutal arson attack, 11 were sentenced to death and a further 20 were given life sentences. Among the convicted were:
Member of muslim radical group Harkat-ul Jehad-e-Islami
Haji Bilal, local town councillor and Congress worker
Mohammed Hussain Kalota, President of Godhra municipality
Rescue Teams & Media arrive at the scene of the crime
This brutal and unprovoked attack on the peaceful Hindu Pilgrims then triggered off a series of riots in Gujarat that would eventually see a death toll of a further 254 Hindus, with hundreds of people missing and thousands more injured. The killings themselves were brutal and there were also many rapes. There was wide-scale destruction of property and looting which led to a huge increase in homelessness.
By the end of the riots 10,000 Hindu's would be displaced, with Police records showing 157 riots initiated by muslims. One Hindu man was found dead with his eyes gouged out and a doctor was stabbed as a warning to other Hindu doctors that practiced in muslim areas. Narendra Modi was accused of initiating and condoning the violence, however subsequent investigations by the Supreme Court cleared him of any wrong doing.
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