Anand district, the torchbearer of Operation Flood or White Revolution of India — glowing terms associated with the transformation of the milk and milk products sector — is also home to one of the worst massacres in the 2002 Gujarat riots. On March 1, 10 years ago, 27 people were burnt to death in two separate attacks in Ode village of this central Gujarat district.
Scared by riots that had erupted following torching of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra two days ago, a group of Muslims took refuge in a two-storey building in the village.
But rioters reached the locality and began torching houses, a retaliation for the killing of 59 passengers, mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya, in the train carnage.Soon, the two-storey building was ablaze. Rioters armed with iron pipes and sticks prevented people inside from escaping.
“In a few hours, when the police reached the spot, 23 people were charred to death in the building,” reads the FIR registered by the police.
The same day, three members of a family — Kadar Vohra, Ayesha Vohra and Noori Vohra — were burnt to death by a mob near Malav Bhagol area of Ode.
In November 2011, Rehana Vora, a witness in the case, had accompanied the trial court judge to the massacre site.
Two special courts are conducting trials in the Ode masscre cases.
“The judge hearing the case of the killing of the 23 people resigned after being after being transferred to Jamnagar. The verdict has been reserved and there is no information on when it will be pronounced,” said a lawyer involved in the case. He said trial in the other case was underway.