topics Updated: May 24, 2016 15:16 IST
The Gujarat riots of 2002 are said to be the worst communal violence in India after the 2003 Nellie massacre in Assam and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. Officially, the Gujarat riots resulted in the death of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus with over 2,500 people injured. However, activists and NGOs say that up to 2,000 Muslims were killed in the violence which allegedly had the backing of the then BJP government led by Narendra Modi. A Supreme Court appointed investigation later exonerated Modi of any wrongdoing. Many right-wing organisations defended the riots as a natural reaction to the death of 59 Hindu pilgrims in a mysterious fire which engulfed four coaches of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra station.