Riots 2002 - Gujarat
The story so far
Unidentified men attacked and set fire to one of the coaches of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra station in the morning of February 27. It is still not known what prompted the attack, but 58 kar sevaks who were returning from Ayodhya were killed in the incident.
Later, the same train was attacked again at Vadodara and two persons were stabbed to death when alleged VHP activists attacked it in retaliation.
Five more stabbing incidents were reported in Gujarat later in the evening. As violence spread, the government swung into action and Home Minister L K Advani asked the Uttar Pradesh government to stop kar sevaks from entering Ayodhya. By nightfall, riots started in Ahmedabad. While six people were injured in police firing, 12 people were killed by the rioters. That took the toll to 70 by Wednesday night.
VHP, meanwhile, accused the government of communal negligence in Gujarat. On February 28 morning, Advani told Parliament that all states had been put on alert following the Gujarat riots. Amid violence, the Cabinet Committee on Security met and decided to send in the Army to douse the Gujarat fire.
The Prime Minister requested the RSS to broker peace with the VHP and assured the Sangh outfits of government support in finding a speedy solution to the Ayodhya problem. Muslim leaders, including the Imam of Jama Masjid, met the Prime Minister to seek a dismissal of the Narendra Modi government.The total death toll had hit the 500 mark by March 5. (courtesy: TimesOfIndia)