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India

Yearbook 2002

2002 IndiaIndia. Tensions between Hindus and Muslims increased sharply in February, when militant Hindus announced that, despite court bans, they intended to build a new temple in Ayodhya in northern India, where the demolition of a mosque in 1992 led to severe riots. A train of Hindu pilgrims was said to have been attacked by Muslims at a station in the state of Gujarat and 59 Hindus were burned in when a chariot was ignited. The deaths triggered severe persecution of Muslims throughout Gujarat.

According to Countryaah website, about 100,000 people were driven away from their homes and by the end of May at least 1,000 people were estimated to have been killed, most of them Muslims. The investigation of the fire in the railway carriage later showed that it ignited from inside.

Independent analyzes of the violence in Gujarat gave the state government under the Hindu Conservative Party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party; "Indian People's Party") a large part of the blame for the unrest because of its inaction. Despite the criticism, the government strengthened its position in the new elections in December, which was a welcome success for the BJP, which earlier in the year and 2001 had lost several state elections. In September, 31 Hindus were killed when a temple in Gujarat was attacked by two Muslim extremists.

A new war against neighboring Pakistan was imminent. The situation was already tense as the year began and was seriously worsened after a guerrilla attack in March against a military camp in Kashmir, killing 34 people, including the wives and children of many soldiers. A strong military recharge took place along the border during spring and summer. Only towards the end of the year did the troops begin to withdraw.

However, Kashmir remained India's most troubled corner. Prominent politician Abdul Ghani Lone was assassinated in May, at least 27 Hindus were killed in a guerrilla attack in the city of Jammu in July and 14 people were killed when terrorists attacked two Hindu temples in Jammu in November.

Despite the unrest, elections were held in Kashmir in September - October. More than 800 people were killed during the election campaign and separatists called for election boycotts. Still, 46% took part in that election as a manifestation against the extremists who have taken over the Kashmiris' independence struggle. The election was a stinging defeat for the ruling party National Conference, which is also part of the federal government. New head of government became Mohammad Sayid from the People's Democratic Party, which formed a coalition with the Congress Party.

Three men were sentenced in December to death for participating in the terrorist attack on the New Delhi Parliament in 2001, when 14 people, including five assailants, were shot dead.

Flooding in northeastern India coincided with severe drought in other parts of the country. The drought was estimated to slow economic growth by about one percentage point to just over 5%. The economy was generally worse off than expected and in a government reshuffle in July, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh had to change jobs. In July, an elective assembly elected rocket scientist Abdul Kalam as president. He became I's third Muslim head of state.

2002 India

Following the terrorist attack in New York on September 11, the United States lifted sanctions against India and Pakistan, which had otherwise been imposed 3 years earlier when the two countries conducted nuclear weapons tests. The removal of the sanctions was the "prize" for the two countries for their support of Washington in the fight against terrorism.

In October, Kashmir returned to the center of the Pakistan-India conflict as Indian troops opened fire on a Pakistani military post. Several Indian policemen died when a Pakistani suicide unit attacked the New Delhi parliament. Both countries feared a new war and therefore strengthened their military positions along the border. In early 2002, India conducted successful tests on the Agni nuclear missile missile.

In February 2002, a train of Hindu pilgrims caught fire near Godhra in Gujarat. 60 people perished. Subsequently, a rumor spread that Muslims were behind the fire, triggering a storm of anti-Muslim assaults and arson that cost between 900 and 2,000 lives. Most Muslims. Along the way, the state government imposed curfew in many of the larger cities, but many subsequently pointed out that the government had done far too little to prevent the assaults on Muslims. A 2008-09 study indicated that Gujarat's Hindu nationalist governor Narendra Modi had political and legal co-responsibility for the massacres.

Despite Indian Secretary of Defense George Fernandes' assurances in June 2002 that Indian troops would remain along the border for as long as needed, the scale of attacks into Kashmir declined significantly following diplomatic interference from the EU, US, Russia and others. countries.

In 2002, most political parties - including the Congress Party and the government coalition - supported Abdul Kalam's candidacy as president of India. He was a scientist and the protagonist behind the nation's development of nuclear weapons. Kalam - also known as the "missile man" - took over the presidential post in July, becoming India's third Muslim president.

The Kashmir separatists called for a boycott of the parliamentary elections in October, and for security reasons it was therefore implemented in 4 stages. The turnout ended at 44%, and after three decades of uninterrupted rule, the National Jammu and Kashmir Conference lost the election to a coalition of the People's Democratic Party and the Congress Party. Democratic Party leader Mufti Mohammed Sayeed became the state's new prime minister.

In 2003, 29 Indians were sentenced to death. How many executions were actually carried out is unknown as the government does not publish information on executions. In March, the anti-terror law POTA was passed, and it also included the use of the death penalty, and was sometimes applied during the year. In November, the central government declared itself willing to apply the death penalty in rape cases as well.

 

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