In This Uttar Pradesh Town, Eid Is A ‘Black Day’ For Many Muslims (The Quint)

The gate of the Eidgah ground where the incident occurred in 1980. 
(Shiv Kumar Maurya/ The Quint) 


Irshad Saqlaini was all of 9 years old when his relationship with his neighborhood Eidgah changed for good. An excited Saqlaini had gotten ready in the wee hours of that cloudy August day, to accompany his father and siblings to offer the Eid prayer. Across families in Moradabad, tradition had dictated that all children visit the Eidgah for the Eid prayer along with the elders. Minutes after the Eid prayer ended, Saqlaini began sensing a strange gas hurting his eyes and mouth. Seconds later, blazing gunshots were heard. Saqlaini and his family began running out of the Eidgah, haplessly trying to escape the bullets, just like every other person in the field that day. This led to an inevitable stampede. Saqlaini fell.

“It’s a miracle that I am sitting in front of you here today, there are many children who fell that day and never got up,” he says

A stranger extended his hand to Saqlaini and managed to lift him up in time. “I remember seeing children that day, who had fallen under the broken tents, their intestines were coming out…that’s how badly they were crushed,” says another Moradabad resident. There is no concrete figure on how many people died that day, statistics ranging from several hundreds to thousands. Some died from the bullets at the Eidgah, some due to the stampede and some from the police and rioters entering their homes and firing at the residents. This came to be known as the 1980 Moradabad massacre.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.

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