2002 Godhara Riots – 312 Hindus Killed

Perpetrator: Muslim mobs

Year: 2002

Number: 59 Hindus burned alive in Sabarmati train attack and 254 killed in subsequent riots

The 2002 massacre of Hindus where a few coaches of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire by a Muslim mob was a planned violence against Hindu pilgrims who were returning from Ayodhya after a religious ritual.

As a result of this massacre, riots broke out over Gujarat, where Hindus attacked Muslims; 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the arson.

Godhara had a history of communal disturbance and aggression between Hindus and Muslims, with Hindus being the ones persecuted consistently, and triggered by Muslims. Here is a quick recap:

1927-28:Murder of P.M. Shah, a leading local representative of Hindus

1948: Attempt on the life of the District Collector by Muslim leader. One Hindu was stabbed to death near a mosque in Jahurpur area. Around 2,000 houses of Hindus were burnt, Hindu temples destroyed.

1965: Shops belonging to the Hindus were set ablaze

1980:Five Hindus including two children of 5 & 7 yrs age were burnt alive. A Gurudwara set on fire, in Shikari Chal. Forty Hindu shops set on fire in station area.

1990: Four Hindu  teachers, including two women  teachers, were murdered (cut into pieces) by miscreants in Saifia Madarsa in  Vhorvada

1992: More than 100 houses belonging to the Hindus were set on fire near the Railway Station

2002: The bogies of Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Express were set on fire in February. S-6 coach carrying karsewaks returning from Ayodhya was targeted as a pre-meditated plan/ conspiracy.

2002 March: On 13 March 2002, a mob of 500 Muslims again attacked Hindus in Jahurpura area of Godhra near the Old Bus Stand.

Some media accounts of the Sabarmati crime paint it as a result of communal tension and an outcome of “offense” taken by Muslims. But there is ample evidence to prove it otherwise. Several facts prove that the Sabarmati train arson was a pre-meditated crime, which involved 2000 Muslims attacking the train with Petrol and burning rags.

“There are several reasons to believe that this was a pre-planned conspiracy as could be seen from the following facts:

1. Travelers of a particular religion were asked to get down at the previous station of Dahod.

2. The patients of a particular community were discharged from the civil hospital of Godhra one day before 27th. Not a single case from a particular community was registered on 27th Feb.

3.  Not a single student or a teacher of a particular community was present in the schools of Godhra on 27th Feb.

4. It clearly shows that not only it was a pre-planned attack but many others were aware that something is likely to happen on that day.”

VSK, Gujarat

Media reports give false narratives of it being an accident on the spur of the moment, which is clearly impossible. For the train to have been attacked, Muslims had to surround in on both the sides, so Hindus were not able to escape. If it was on the spur of the moment, it would have been very difficult for the Muslims to surround the train on both sides.

The misrepresentation of a carnage like these not only fools Hindus at large, but does the biggest injustice and disservice to those who died in this tragedy, while Hindus continue to believe lies about them.

On 20th March, 2019, the mastermind behind the train massacre, Yakub Pataliya, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. For 17 years Hindus lived with the slur of the Godhara train massacre being labeled as an “accident,” instead of being recognized for what it really was – jihad.


Report By The Commission of Inquiry Consisting of Mr. Justice G.T. Nanavati And Mr. Justice Akshay H. Mehta

Gujarat Riots: The True Story

Wikipedia – Godhara Train Burning

Wikipedia – 2002 Gujarat Riots



Deccan Chronicle

Article has been updated on 20th March, 2019, to include the conviction of the criminal.