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6 May, 2014

With India’s Election, A Reminder of Horrors of 2002 Gujarat Riots – NYTimes.com

AHMEDABAD, India — Gulbarg Society, a complex of 18 bungalows and two apartment blocks once occupied by upper-middle-class Muslims in the largely Hindu neighborhood of Chamanpura, is now a cluster of doorless burned shells.

Inside the complex, Qasim Allah Noor Mansour, 70, sat on a patio, catching his breath after chasing away a homeless boy who had sneaked in to smoke. Mr. Mansour is the only person living in the complex since it was abandoned in February 2002, when at least 35 Muslims were hacked and burned to death, including the Indian National Congress parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri. Thirty-one other Muslims went missing, according to a lawyer representing the eyewitnesses of the attack in court.

The attack on the families living in the Gulbarg complex was just one event in the three-day Gujarat riots, which left more than 1,000 people dead, most of them Muslims. The violence began a day earlier, when a Muslim mob attacked a train full of Hindu pilgrims in the town of Godhra and a fire broke out, killing 59 Hindus.

Read the rest: With Election, Many Reminded of Horrors of 2002 Gujarat Riots – NYTimes.com