We have seen the bloody communal history of the town. Now let us see the exact horrid, lurid details of the massacre of 27th February 2002 with the background.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had organized a ‘Purnahuti Yagya’ in Ayodhya in February- March 2002. People participating in this ‘Yagya’ had simply participated and gone home. They did not stay in Ayodhya until 15th March 2002 for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya at the undisputed site.
People from all parts of the country went to Ayodhya, participated in this event i.e. the Purnahuti Yagya and returned home from mid-February to 27th February 2002.
A trainload of such people called ‘Karsevaks’ or ‘Ramsevaks’ were returning to Ahmedabad in Gujarat from Ayodhya after participating in the Purnahuti Yagya. Whether they were all members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or just ordinary people supporting the VHP’s stance on Ram temple is not known.
The train, the Sabarmati Express was supposed to reach Ahmedabad early in the morning. It was running 4 hours late. (Source: India Today weekly, dated 11 March 2002)
Shortly after the train left the Godhra railway station at 7: 47 AM, a mob of 2,000 people stopped it. The mob was armed with petrol bombs, acid bombs and swords. The attackers poured petrol into the compartment and then it afire. Two thousand people were standing on all sides of the compartment to prevent the karsevaks from running away and saving their lives from the fire. The karsevaks were literally caught between devil and the deep sea. There was fire inside and armed Muslims outside. The karsevaks were burnt to death in a most horrifying manner. Many of the charred bodies were beyond recognition. The victims included 14 children, including a couple of siblings and also a couple of old women of above 65. They were all done to death in a most brutal manner.