Gujarat riots took place after 60 Hindus died in a train fire on 27 February 2002. Hindu groups alleged that the fire was started by Muslim protesters, but an inquiry diverged that blaze was an accident. Blaming Muslims for the blaze, extremist Hindu mobs stormed through Muslim neighbourhood in several cities seeking reprisals during three days of bloodshed. According to official data, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, while 223 people went missing and 2,500 others injured.
Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat was accused of condoning the violence, as were Police and government officials who directed the rioters and gave lists of Muslim-owned properties to them. Sanjiv Bhatt, Intelligence Bureau officer Gujarat, in 2002 also alleged that, in a meeting in the night before the riots, Mr Modi told officials that Muslim community needed to be taught a lesson following an attack on a train carrying Hindu pilgrims.
However, the bloody riots tarred Modi’s international image, leading him to be blacklisted for a decade by the United States and the European Union. Recently, India has banned a BBC documentary titled “India: The Modi Question” which links his role in 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat that left over two thousand dead. Official probes also absolved the state Police and government of any collusion in the violence, which left 200,000 people homeless. Many Muslims never returned home, more than 100 people have been convicted over the riots in a series of trials over the past 14 years. An Indian court in 2011 found 31 Hindus guilty of murdering 33 Muslims who were seeking shelter in a single house. In 2012, a former minister in Modi’s state government was handed a life sentence for her role.
Labour MP Kim Leadbeater also emphasized to public any unpublished report on 2002 communal violence during a debate to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 2002 communal violence in the Indian state. Amanda Milling, Minister of State for Asia said, UK will condemn any religious discrimination around the world regardless of country or faith involved. UK looks to India to uphold all freedoms and rights guaranteed in its constitution.” Gujarat riots and their subsequent handling have shown that India’s crumbling democratic multi-cultural societal structure is in the danger of total collapse.