India is a country known for its secularism and communal diversity, with people of different religions living together in peace and harmony. But time and again, evil forces have raised their heads to instigate people of different communities to get engaged in violent struggles and riots.
Here is the list of top 10 worst communal riots in Indian history:
10. Calcutta Riots 1946
The heinous communal riots of Calcutta took place in Calcutta in 1946, before independence. A large number of Hindus and Muslims were killed in the great manslaughter on this fateful day, which came to be known as the Direct Action Day.
9. Sikh Riots of 1984
Next among the top 10 worst communal riots in Indian history are the Sikh Riots of Delhi, which took place after the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi. As many as 800 innocent victims were brutally murdered during the riots.
8. Kashmir Riots 1986
In 1986, the state of Kashmir witnessed one of the worst events in its history, when thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to migrate from their homes in the state, because of the violence afflicted on them by the Muslims of the state. Anantnag was the most affected area of the state.
7. Varanasi Riots 1989
Varanasi, which is a major pilgrimage for the Hindus, has repeatedly fallen prey to communal violence between 1989 and 1992. The first Hindu Muslim riots took place in the city in 1989 and left a large number affected.
6. Bhagalpur Riots 1989
1989 proved to be one of the worst years in the communal history of India as it was marked by the Hindu Muslim riots in Bhagalpur, followed by those in Varanasi. The violent bloodshed claimed as many as 1000 lives and left countless injured.