1970 Bhiwandi riots

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The 1970 Bhiwandi riots was an instance of Hindu-Muslim violence which occurred between 7 and 8 May in the Indian towns of Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad.[1] There were large amounts of arson and vandalism of both Hindu owned and Muslim-owned properties.

The rioting was one of the worst instances of communal violence since the Partition of India and involved several radical Muslims, Islamists and Shiv Sena.[2]

The riots[edit]

There had been a prolonged period of tension between groups such as the Shiv Sena and the Muslim extremist groups Jamaat-i-Islami, the Muslim League and Majlis Tameer-e-Millat.[2] The Rashtriya Utsav Mandal had campaigned for permission to have a procession to celebrate Shiv Jayanti (Shivaji's birthday), which would pass through a Muslim area by mosque. Islamist groups protested this request even though procession to be carried was on public property not Mosque.[1]

The procession was organised by Shiv Sena. Soon, Islamists and Muslims started pelting stones along the path of the procession with the police taking no action. However once the violence began the police opened fire several times.[3][4] Between 3000 and 4000 people had travelled from villages close to Bhiwandi, and once the procession had started some Muslims threw stones which triggered the violence.[1]


Following the incident the Indian government formed a Commission headed by Justice D. P. Madon. The final report from the commission ran to seven volumes and was highly critical of the police for their failure to prevent the riots, the report was also highly critical of Shiv Sena and Islamist leaders for their part in the violence.[5]

According to the Madon report of those arrested during the violence 324 were Hindu and 2183 were Muslim.[6] According to K. Jaishankar, of those arrested for clearly identifiable crimes during the violence in 1970, 21 were Hindu and 901 were Muslims[7]

Economic costs for the riots in Bhiwandi, according to the Madon and police reports ran to Rs 15,320,163. In Jalgaon 112 Muslim properties and been attacked by arsonists, with 87 of these being razed to the ground. There was looting of 250 properties and another 28 had been damaged. Economic costs for the violence in Jalgaon ran to 3,474,722 with the costs to Muslims being 3,390,997.[8]

The commission gave a death toll of 164 in Bhiwandi alone, 142 Muslims and 20 Hindus, and in the nearby villages of Khoni and Nagaon the commission stated that there had been 78 deaths, 17 Hindus and 50 Muslims.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Graff & Galonnier 2013, p. 15-33.
  2. ^ a b Hansen 2001, p. 74.
  3. ^ Horowitz 2001, p. 364.
  4. ^ Banerjee 2005, p. 101.
  5. ^ Engineer 2003, p. 8.
  6. ^ Robinson 2005, p. 103.
  7. ^ Jaishankar 2010, p. 211.
  8. ^ Robinson 2005, pp. 101–102.


  • Banerjee, Sikata (2005). Make Me a Man!: Masculinity, Hinduism, and Nationalism in India. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0791463680. 
  • Engineer, Asgharali (2003). "Introduction". In Asgharali Engineer. The Gujarat Carnage. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-8125024965. 
  • Graff, Violette; Galonnier, Juliette (2013). "Hindu-Muslim Communal Riots in India I (1947–1986)". Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence. ISSN 1961-9898. 
  • Horowitz, Donald L. (2001). The Deadly Ethnic Riot. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520224476. 
  • Hansen, Thomas Blom (2001). Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691088402. 
  • Jaishankar, K. (2010). "Patterns of Communal Violence Victimization in South Asia". In Shlomo Giora Shoham; Paul Knepper; Martin Kett. International Handbook of Victimology. CRC Press. pp. 182–213. ISBN 978-1420085471. 
  • Robinson, Rowena (2005). Tremors of Violence: Muslim Survivors of Ethnic Strife in Western India. SAGE. ISBN 978-0761934080.