December 13, 2002 |
Tens of thousands of armed police protected voters but couldn't quell all sectarian violence in India's Gujarat state, where rioting this year claimed 1,000 lives, mostly Muslims killed by Hindus. Two exit polls predicted that the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party would be returned to power in Gujarat, but with a smaller margin. The party is accused of fomenting the riots.
December 1, 2002 |
A surge of violence in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir left 10 people dead Saturday. In the first attack, a bomb exploded on a busy street in the Khanyar area of Srinagar, the summer capital of India's Jammu and Kashmir state. Police said that the bomb targeted a police van carrying detainees to a court but that it exploded prematurely. Three policemen and six civilians, including two children, were hurt.
November 18, 2002 |
Hundreds of Hindu protesters were arrested as police broke up a banned rally in western India's Gujarat state, where religious clashes have killed about 1,000 people this year. The 2-week-long rally planned by the Hindu nationalists was to start in Godhra, where a Muslim mob's arson attack on a train carrying mostly Hindus in February triggered India's worst religious riots in a decade.
November 16, 2002 |
In an elaborate ceremony of prayer and animal sacrifice, thousands of Balinese Hindus gathered Friday to drive away evil and purify the site where 191 people died last month in a car bombing. The islanders asked for forgiveness, prayed for the victims of the attack and expressed hope that visitors from around the world will soon come back to their homeland. "No more blood and tears in Bali," Indonesian Welfare Minister Yusuf Kalla told the crowd.
September 26, 2002 |
Indian troops stood by for deployment in the western state of Gujarat today as Hindu groups called for a nationwide strike over an attack on a temple that left at least 32 people dead. The World Hindu Council, a group tied to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led the call for the strike.
August 8, 2002 |
Hindus observed a general strike in the Indian-ruled portion of Kashmir on Wednesday to protest a terrorist attack that killed nine pilgrims hiking to a Himalayan shrine. Eight people died in new violence. A leader of Jammu and Kashmir state's ruling party was slain in Srinagar, the summer capital, on Wednesday. Police said they suspected Islamic separatists.
June 3, 2002 |
Thousands of Hindu nationalists prayed and marched Sunday at the epicenter of India's most bitter religious dispute, winding up a 108-day celebration that was part of a campaign to pressure the government to let them build a temple at the site of a razed mosque. Nearly 10,000 police and paramilitary troops guarded the northern town of Ayodhya, where authorities feared Hindu-Muslim clashes or an attack by Islamic guerrillas.
June 2, 2002 |
Nearly 10,000 paramilitary troops moved into this northern town Saturday after police said an Islamic separatist group threatened to blow up a makeshift Hindu temple at the site of a demolished 16th century mosque. Security was tightened as thousands of Hindus began arriving in Ayodhya, 345 miles east of New Delhi, to hold a prayer ceremony today close to the ruins of the Babri Masjid mosque razed by Hindu nationalists nearly 10 years ago.
May 12, 2002 |
For Vir Bhadra Mishra, the day is not complete without a dip in what he considers the holy waters of the Ganges, although he knows he risks his health by immersing himself in India's most polluted river. Like Mishra, thousands of Hindus in Varanasi, the heartland of Hinduism, take a bath or dip every day in the belief that it will cleanse them of their sins. What they are willing to overlook are the billions of gallons of sewage that pour into the Ganges as the river flows from the Himalayas in northern India to the Bay of Bengal in the east, a distance of more than 1,600 miles.
March 14, 2002 |
Hindu nationalists threatened Wednesday to defy a Supreme Court ban on holding a symbolic prayer ceremony near the bitterly disputed site of a mosque demolished by a mob nearly a decade ago. The Indian government says it has deployed about 8,000 paramilitary police officers, armed with tear gas, water cannon and live ammunition, to deter any large-scale protests at the site in the northern town of Ayodhya.