Mapping the violence

Sixteen of Gujarat’s 24 districts were engulfed in the most organised armed mob attacks on Muslims between February 28 and March 2, 2002, when most of the attacks were concentrated. Rampaging mobs were at it until mid-March. In some parts of Ahmedabad and Mehsana they are still on the loose.(Another three districts had sporadic bouts of organised violence.) Nowhere were the mobs less that 2-3,000, most often they were more than 5-10,000 strong. This and the fact that they were armed with swords, trishuls and agricultural instruments that could kill; the fact that the manner of arson, hacking and killing was chillingly similar; all suggest a carefully laid out plan behind the attacks. It is only trained cadres who can spill out in such an organised fashion, in thousands across the state of Gujarat, within the ‘72 hours’ it took Chief Minister Modi to ‘bring things to normal.’

February 27, 2002

* Godhra: 58 persons torched alive in bogie of Sabarmati express.

(Stray stabbings at Ahmedabad and Anand).

Stabbing at Varodara of a Muslim vendor as Kar sevaks returned

Rajpardi village, Bharuch

65 persons travelling in a tempo from Kidiad to Modasa in Sabarkantha burnt alive at Babaliya, Khanpur chowki Panchmahal.

February 28, 2002

* Ahmedabad: Civil Hospital, Sola. Bodies are brought, angry slogans raised

* Gulberg Society, Chamanpura: Armed mob of 20-22,000 holds the whole of Gulberg society to ransom for over seven hours. Seventy persons hacked and burnt alive. (10-12 women and girls were raped). Commissioner Pandey failed to save the victims.

* Naroda Gaon-Naroda Patiya: Armed mobs of 15,000 attack and kill women, children and men – over 200 lives lost; Ample evidence of private firing with rifles by the mobs also armed with trishuls, dharias, spears and other weapons. (Police watched).

* Naroda Fruit Market: Armed mobs of 10,000 attack Muslim wholesalers selectively.

* Odhav, Gomtipur and Amraiwadi. Mobs attack.

* Paldi: attacked by huge mob. Judges/Police Quarters attacked

* Kabadi Market: attacked by mob of 7-10,000; destruction carries on for four days.

* Vatwa: attacked by mob of 10-20,000.

Restaurants and housing societies within minority areas are selectively targeted.

1,100 hotels in Ahmedabad, Baroda and on the Highways torched with special chemical between February 28 and March 1.

A mob first ransacked a Honda City car showroom on the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway

* Vadodara: At least 7 persons killed and 30 injured in mob attacks on the localities of Fatehpura, Chhipwad and Makarpura.

* Vadodara Rural: Savli, Chhotaudaipur, Desar, Sokhda, Laxmipura , Padra, Vadu, Karjan, Vaghodiya, Udalpur, Tarsali. Kisanwadi, Sama Society, Madhavnagar, Ashabi Chawl were attacked. In rural parts, Sokhada and Chappad were targeted.

* Gandhinagar: A mob enters the Old Secretariat building in the high-security zone and burns down the offices of the Wakf Board and the state Minority Finance Corporation.

* Sabarkantha:

* Near Prantij: Three British Nationals travelling in a local taxi are attacked; one survives; the driver is killed, two are still missing.

Villages/towns across this district are brutally targeted for four-five days: Meghraj, Bayad, Dhansura, Vadali, Prantij, Vijaynagar, Dolapur, Fazalpur, Madhavkampa, Talod, Modasa, Malpur, Sardoi, Himmatnagar, Idar, Khhedbrahma, Bhiloda, Tintoi, Gajra, Jadar, Zaledar, Faredi, Pandharwada, Kavath, Unjha, Dailol, Meghdharol, Sathamba, Shamlaji, Demai, Limkheda, Halol. The Highway through Sabarkantha was targeted by rampaging mobs.

Mobs in the above-mentioned areas led by local leaders of the VHP and BD encircled and cordoned of the roads and stopped all vehicles carrying milk, vegetables and other basic food items.

*Himmatnagar: One young Muslim boy was allegedly shot to death at point blank range by the Superintendent of Police in Himmatnagar.

* Ahmedabad Rural: Dholka, Jetalpur, Ramol, Mandal targeted by mobs of not less that 3,000, armed with trishuls, swords and agricultural implements.

*Bharuch city

*Ankleshwar GIDC area

March 1, 2002


*Pandharwada: 70 people burnt alive Pandharwada village in Khanpur taluka of Panchmahal.

Six persons burnt alive by large mobs near Dailol railway station located between Kalol and Halol, about 50 km from Godhra; The victims were walking on the Highway when a mob of more than 200 people caught up with them, doused them in kerosene and burnt them alive. Of the victims, four were women.

Other towns and villages brutally attacked:Godhra, Kadadara, Anjanva, Santrampur, affected: Limkheda, Dailol, Mora.

*Mehsana: Sardarpura village:8 farm labourers belonging to the minority community burnt alive.

Other towns and villages brutally attacked: Pansar, Visnagar, Unjha, Umta, Becharaji.

*Kheda: Villages/towns badly affected: Mehmdavad, Jinger, Ghodasar, Kheda, Nadiad, Rural: Ode, Vasad, Petlad, Khambhat, Sojitra, Dharmaj, Borsad, Mehmdavad, Kathlal, Virsad, Balasinor, Pij, Sarsa, Chikhodara, Dakor, Nilampura, Pahad, Thasara, Sevaliya, Ratanpur, Haldasvar, Timba, Khalsar, Chaklasi, Peej, Piplak, Dumral.

*Ahmedabad: Gomtipur, Vatwa: large bastis gutted and property looted

*Gandhinagar: Curfew in Gandhinagar for the first time in 30 yrs on March 1. Mobs moved freely in the capital targeting specific residences and establishments belonging to Muslims. Superintendent of police E Radhakrishna said that the curfew had been imposed as a precautionary measure. The incidents took place in Sector 21, Gha-2 , Gha-6, Sector 25, Sector 26 and Sector 27. Houses were set on fire in Sector 27 while commercial establishments were vandalised in the other areas. Residents of Sector 29, which has a sizeable number of minority members, including businessmen and government servants, said that the violence was unthinkable and they were afraid for the first time.

*Junagadh: This haven of communal harmony saw some tension errupt with a stabbing on March 1 but matters were handled swiftly by the local police.

*Banaskantha: Mankdi, Thalwad, Jitpur in Danta taluka:entire villages have been burnt.(Four Bohra Muslims burnt alive).Villages badly affected: Deesa, Sesanava, Danta, Dhanera, Thara, Tharad, Bhildi, Sihori, Bhabhar, Hadad, Mankdi, Panthawada, Malotra, Palanpur, Vijaynagar, Vadgam, Lakhani.

*Patan: Violence in Chanasma.

In Radhanpur village three persons travelling in a jeep attacked, two killed; one survives.

*Varodara-BEST Bakery, Hanuman Tekri, Vadi Panigate, Raghovpura, Machchipith

*Varodara Rural-Rahovpura, Tulsiwadi, Bhayli. Laxmipura, Bajwa, Maretha, Tejgadh and Kanwat in tribal parts of rural Varodara are targeted

*Anand: Villages badly targeted: Mogar, Sarsa, Chikodra, Bedwa, Samarkha and Odh, Vasad.

* Bharuch: Rajpardi, Rajpipla, Devaliya.

March 2, 2002

*Bharuch: Bharuch city, Ankleshwar

Rural: Bhimpura, Amod, Valiya, Netrang, Jambusar, Nandod, Jhagadiya, Andada, Diva.

*Halol: Factories, trucks set on fire ; 5 units in Halol Industrial Belt set on fire; 9 trucks carrying 63 Opel astras from the General Motors factory in Halol are burnt. Lucky Studio, owned by film producer Sajid Nadiadwala, was also gutted.

The 5 units that were set on fire included four plastic factories and one engineering unit. The industrial town of Halol remained tense as only 17 policemen were on duty in the town limits and they are unable to stop the rampaging the mobs from targeting the factories.

*Rajkot: Rajkot (never experienced communal violence before this) saw violence spread in the industrial areas of Ajit, Shapar-Veraval and GIDC estate. 25 small and medium industrial units were set ablaze in the Ajit industrial area alone. In the Shapar- Veraval area, units like Suraj Industrial, Nazeen Industries, Polymer Packaging and Antech Television were damaged by the mobs.

Rajkot city, and village Gondal. Are targeted

*Latipot: About 15 units with stocks of wooden logs, were set on fire, causing a loss of about Rs. 5 crore. In the Kevdawadi and Gundawadi areas, units like Bazuki Industries and Kirti packaging which had large stocks of packaging material and cardboard , were torched. Eyewitnesses say that the police deployment was inadequate in these areas.

Violence erupts in Mehsana, Godhra, Surat, Vadodara and Anand. Even as chief minister Modi boasted about how “peace had returned” and made tall claims of “90 per cent violence ebbing down,” as many as 29 Muslims were torched to death at Sardarpara village in Mehsana and over 39 people were killed in separate incidents in Surat, Bhavnagar, Sabarkantha and Vadodara.

March 2, 2002

Families from far-flung areas in districts of of Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Banaskantha, Panchmahal, Ahmedabad, Kheda, Baroda, Broach, Surat and Bhavnagar fled to safer places as their houses and business centres had been destroyed in violence by unruly mobs since February 28.The worst hit districts were Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Panchmahal where a large number of houses and shops belonging to minority community were set afire after ransacking and looting of houses and shops, and family members being killed during the orgy of violence in the past five days.

March 3, 2002

*Gandhinagar: A large number of shops, showrooms, larri-gallas and even houses belonging to Muslims were set on fire in all parts of the city on Feb 28, March 1 and 2.

March 4, 2002

*Surat, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Morbi in Rajkot district. Violence spreads to the streets in several areas, including Surat, Bhavnagar and Ahmedabad on March 3. Police opened fire on mobs setting fire to property and looting goods in Bhavnagar and Surat. Morbi in Rajkot district is also engulfed in violence.

March 4, 2002

Police firing on rioting mobs claimed 2 lives in Sabarkantha and one in Kheda, while 6 people were killed in other incidents of violence in Vadodara, Mehsana and Dahod.

*Vadodara Rural: Savli, Chhotaudaipur, Desar, Sokhda (Vadodara), Laxmipura village, Padra, Vadu, Karjan, Vaghodiya, Udalpur; (Violence in Chotaudaipur continued until March 12).

March 6, 2002

Mass burials sans relatives for Naroda, Gulberg victims.

As many as 96 bodies of victims of the post-Godhra carnage were buried in a mass grave in the Dudheshwar graveyard this evening; another mass grave for about 200 victims was being readied in Sarkhej, on the outskirts of the city, for a burial tomorrow.

A big grave was dug and the bodies, brought from the Civil Hospital morgue, lowered into it one by one. They were victims of the Naroda Patiya and the Gulberg Society carnages. Among them were 5 children, including a 6-month-old baby; 46 women, including one who was pregnant, and a handicapped man whose crutches lay by the side. 500 persons silently watched and prayed. CM Narendra Modi, driving less than a kilometre away, did not visit the graveyard.

Read the full report here.