ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Communal Riots, 2000

The year 2000 witnessed several communal riots in diverse parts of India. These remained localised and did not result in the largescale devastation that had marked the riots of 1992-93. However, their occurrence should serve as a continual reminder that very often, innocuous incidents like a property dispute can easily take on communal colour; communal divides too can be easily stirred up by vested interests. More unfortunate has been the response of the civil authorities - who have either been accused of sheltering miscreants or else their response has been seen as belated and reactive.

Like other years, the year 2000 also witnessed a number of communal riots. Unfortunately there has been no year free of communal violence despite the BJP’s assurances of ‘riot-free’ India. The post-Babri demolition trend of riots on smaller scale continued this year as well. In most of these riots only a few human lives were lost. The riots during the eighties were more devastating, each riot involving a loss of more than 100 lives.

The first riot for the year 2000 was reported from Azamgarh, UP on January 27 when trouble broke out in Shibli College. The mischief began with the singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ by the All India Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) students, the student front of BJP. Other students refused to sing and the controversy took adangerous turn when many people were injured and many shops looted and burnt. Later, two persons were stabbed in Mubarakpur in Azamgarh district. In these disturbances more than 180 persons were arrested. The senior superintendent of police, Azamgarh was transferred. Six companies of paramilitary forces were deployed to contain the situation.

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