List of massacres in India

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A massacre is the deliberate slaughter of members of one group by one or more members of another more powerful group. A massacre may be indiscriminate or highly methodical in application. A massacre is a single event, though it may occur during the course of an extended military campaign or war. A massacre is separate from a battle (an event in which opposing sides fight), but may follow in its immediate aftermath, when one side has surrendered or lost the ability to fight, yet the victors persist in killing their opponents.

Pre-colonial India[edit]

Name/Place Date Location Deaths Notes Ref
Ashoka's pogroms Unknown Maurya Empire Unknown 18,000 heretics were killed in addition to a pogrom against Jains ordered by Emperor Ashoka. [1]
Battle of Somnath 1024 Somnath 50,000 Hindu devotees 50,000 of devotees were killed while fighting to protect the Somnath Temple from being looted and vandalised by forces of Mahmud of Ghazni. [2][3]
Sack of Nalanda (disputed)[4] 1197 Nalanda district, Magadha Unknown (est. 10,000 Buddhist monks and students) Killed by forces of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji. [5]
Massacre in south Delhi 1265 South Delhi,

Delhi Sultanate

100,000 Hindu Rajputs of Mewat Almost all the Rajputs of Mewat were completely exterminated by Delhi Sultan Ghiyas ud din Balban during the massacre. [6][7]
Mass-killings by the Thuggee 1290s–1870s Indian subcontinent 50,000–2,000,000 people Roughly 600 years of this criminal operation was finally obsolete after suppressed by the British colonial authorities of India after the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people killed and robbed by the Thuggee. [8]
Massacre of Srirangam 1323 Srirangam, Pandyan dynasty 12,000 Hindu ascetics 12,000 Hindu ascetics at or around the temple were slaughtered by Muhammad bin Tughluq's soldiers while they city was sacked. [9]
Mass killings in Bengal by Firuz Shah Tughlaq 1353–13?? Bengal Sultanate 180,000 Hindus Firuz Shah invaded Bengal after it rebelled and paid for the 180,000 heads of Hindus massacred by his soldiers. [10]
Battle of Mudgal 1365 Mudgal Unknown Bukka Raya I seized the town and put the garrison to the sword. [11]
Massacres around Vijayanagara 1366 districts surrounding Vijayanagara,

Vijayanagara Empire

500,000 Hindus A total of 500,000 inhabitants were massacred in all the districts surrounding Vijayanagara by the Bahmani Sultanate soldiers. In Raichur Doab alone, 70,000 Hindus were massacred by the army of the Bahmani Sultanate in response to killing of the garrsion of mudgal. The districts were turned to waste after they were destroyed. [12][13]
Battle of Bhatner 1398 Bhatner fort,

Delhi Sultanate

10,000 10,000 inhabitants were killed after some of them started resisting the demand of paying ransom to Timurid forces. [14][15]
Execution of slaves by Timurid forces 1398 Loni, Ghaziabad,

Delhi Sultanate

100,000 captives Before the battle of Delhi commenced, Timur ordered his soldiers to kill all the 100,000 captives they caught to avoid a rebellion before the attack on Delhi. [16]
Timurid campaign in Punjab 1398 Punjab,

Delhi Sultanate

Unknown Thousands of residents who fled mostly non-Muslim town of Sarsuti were chased and killed by Timur's forces. In Fatehabad, a large number of civlians staying behind were killed. Thousands of Ahirs resisting him at Aruni were killed. In addition to 200 Jats at Tohana and further 2000 who fled were killed with their wives and children taken captive. From there he went to Assandh on the next day, destroying all villages in the way. [17]
Timurid massacre of Delhi 1398 Delhi,

Delhi Sultanate

Unknown Hindus of the city were killed or enslaved. After the massacre ended, the few remaining survivors either died of famine and disease or were enslaved. [18][19][20]
Battle of Meerut 1399 Meerut,

Delhi Sultanate

Unknown (all of the inhabitants) The massacre took place during the battle for Meerut for with all the Hindu inhabitants being put to sword. [21][22]
Masssacre of Garha 1560 Garha-Katanga Kingdom (now Narsinghpur district) 48,000 Hindu peasants and Rajputs Ordered by Emperor Akbar, in the early years of his reign. [23]
Sack of Vijayanagara 1565 Vijayanagara,

Vijayanagara Empire

Unknown Vijayanagara was sacked and razed by Deccan Sultanates after Battle of Talikota. Widespread destruction of Hindu temples and buildings also took place in the city, destroying most of the large temple centres. [24][25]
Siege of Chittorgarh February 1568 Chittor Fort,

Udaipur State

30,000 About 30,000 non-combatants were ordered to be executed while 8,000 Rajput women inmolated themselves as part of jauhar. [26]
Massacres during Nader Shah's invasion of the Mughal Empire 1738–1740 Northern India,

Mughal Empire

300,000 people Persian invaders massacre Indian civilians [27]
Maratha expeditions in Bengal 1741-1751 Unknown (Est. 400,000) Bengal Subah A 1755 Dutch account estimating over 400,000 people were killed in Bengal and Bihar including textile workers, merchants and other inhabitants. [28]
Chhōtā Ghallūghārā 1746 Lahore 10,000 7,000 Sikhs were killed in battle with armies of Diwan of Lahore. 3,000 were captured and executed in Lahore. [29][30]
Massacres after the Battle of Panipat 1761 Panipat, Haryana,

Maratha Empire

40,000-70,000 Maratha soldiers About 22,000 Maratha women and young children enslaved by the Afghans [31][32][page needed]
Vaḍḍā Ghallūghārā 1763 Punjab Est. 25,000-30,000 Perpetrated by Afghan Muslim forces of Ahmad Shah Durrani. [30]
Mangalore Christian massacre 1784–1799 Srirangapatna,

Kingdom of Mysore

5,600 Christians Persecution of Mangalore Catholic Christians by Tipu Sultan [33]

Colonial India[edit]

Name/Place Date Location Deaths Notes Ref
Goa Inquisition 1560–1812 (252 years) Goa, Portuguese India Tens of thousands of non-Catholic Goans Wholesale massacres of Hindus, Muslims, non-Catholic Christians and Jews by Portuguese inquisitors, thousands of women were raped and 300 Hindu temples were destroyed. [34]
Massacres by General Neill June–July 1857 Allahabad, Kanpur and surrounding areas, Company rule in India Thousands of Indian mutineers, suspected rebels and civilians The massacres at Allahabad took place before the Bibighar massacre; the ones at Kanpur after it [35]
Delhi Palace, peepal tree massacre 16 May 1857 Delhi, Company rule in India ~ 40 - 52 Europeans Bahadur Shah's palace servants executed the European civilians captured in the previous day's riots.
Siege of Cawnpore, 5–25 June 1857 Cawnpore, Company rule in India ~ 1,000 Europeans soldiers, merchants, engineers, their wives and children, along with the East India Company sepoys, who were either Christian or refused to mutiny, and join Nana Sahib
Satichaura Ghat massacre 27 June 1857 Kanpur, Company rule in India ~ 200 British officers Massacre by Nana Sahib's forces [36]
Bibighar massacre 15 July 1857 Kanpur, Company rule in India ~ 200 British women and children The victims were prisoners under Nana Sahib's forces. The massacre was carried out by a group of butchers, but who ordered it remains unclear. [37]
Massacres of Indians during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 1857–1859 Company rule in India >100,000 to 10,000,000 Indians (mostly civilians) Due to military orders and of widespread massacres and revenge killings of both Indian civilians and captured rebels. In Oudh alone, 150,000 Indians were killed of whom 100,000 were civilians. Places such as De, Allahabad, Kanpur and Lucknow were met with general massacre after they were recaptured by British troops. [38][39][40]
Kuka (Namdhari) massacre at Malerkotla 17–18 January 1872 Malerkotla, Punjab, British Raj ~ 65 Kuka (Namdhari) Killed Mr. Cowan (the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana) and Mr. Forsyth (the Commissioner of Ambala) ordered the Namdharis to be blown away with guns, without any trial, on 17 and 18 January 1872 respectively. [41]
Jallianwala Bagh massacre 13 April 1919 Amritsar, Punjab, British Raj 379-381 dead, ~1,100 mostly Sikhs, some Muslims and Hindus injured Reginald Edward Harry Dyer ordered a unit of the British Indian Army to open fire on a unarmed, nonviolent group of protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims.
Moplah Rebellion 1922 Malabar, Kerala, British Raj 2,337-10,000 Hindus (1,00,000 Hindus permanently migrated). Khilafat Movement considered as main cause.
Qissa Khwani Bazaar massacre 23 April 1930 Peshawar, British Raj 1 British Indian Army dispatch rider, and ~ 20 - 230 protesters After a British Indian Army despatch rider was killed and burned in the Bizarre two armoured cars were ordered to drive in and open fire on the protesters.
Calcutta Riots 15 August – 17 September 1946 West Bengal, British Raj 7,000 to 10,000 Hindus and Muslims. Hindus and Muslims clashed during a protest by All India Muslim League termed as Direct Action Day. [42]
Noakhali riots September–October 1946 East Bengal, British Raj 5,000 Hindus By Muslims in reaction to Calcutta killings. Muslim community attacked Hindu community for wealth and forced conversion to Islam. Around 50,000 to 75,000 survivors were sheltered in temporary relief camps [43][44][45]
Bihar Massacre 30 October – 7 November 1946 Bihar, British Raj 2,000-30,000 Muslims By Hindus in reaction to Noakhali riots [46]
Garhmukteshwar Anti-Muslim Violence November 1946 United Provinces, British Raj at least 214 Muslims partition of the country into India and Pakistan loomed. [47]
Partition of India 1947 Punjab, Delhi and Sindh, British Raj, Dominion of India and Dominion of Pakistan ~ 200,000 - 2,000,000 people Massacre of Sikhs and Hindus by Muslims in West Punjab and of Muslims by Sikhs and Hindus in East Punjab. The communal violence resulted in the murder of 20,000-25,000 Muslims in Delhi by Hindus. UNHCR estimates 14 million were displaced by the violence.

Independent India[edit]

Name/Place Date Location Deaths Notes Ref
Anti-Brahmin riots of 1948 January 1948 Paschim Maharashtra Unknown Post the Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on 30 January 1948, at the hands of Nathuram Godse, a Chitpavan Brahmin, there were heavy reprisals on the community by Congress supporters in notable regions of Western Maharashtra like Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ahmednagar, Solapur. Pre-existing social tensions between the castes, resentment among non-Brahmins, especially Marathas, towards the socio-political dominance of Brahmins in the region was said to be a major cause. Aspects of the violence included arson, looting of Brahmin households, assaults on Brahmins, the nature of which turned fatal in numerous instances. [52][53]
Hyderabad massacre of 1948 1948 Hyderabad State 27,000 - 40,000 (Official Estimate)

200,000 (Scholarly Estimate) Muslims killed.

Massacred by Hindus, and Indian army, as army and police unarmed Muslims in the state but let the Hindus keep their weapons after the Nizam was defeated. [54][54]
Kilvenmani massacre 25 December 1968 Nagapattinam Tamil Nadu 44 Killed agricultural workers vs landlord
1969 Gujarat riots 1969 Gujarat 660 Hindu-Muslim riots; 430 Muslims
Turkman gate demolition and rioting 1976 Delhi officially 6, unofficially 150 killed by police (nearly all Muslims) Killing of Delhi residents who refused to move residence. [55]
Marichjhapi incident January 31, 1979 West Bengal Official figures 2, Hindustan Times quotes 50 to 1000 Hindu refugees Killing of refugees who came from East Pakistan [56]
Moradabad riots 1980 Uttar Pradesh Officially 400; unofficial estimates as high as 2500. Started as a Muslim-Police conflict; later turned into a Hindu-Muslim riot [57]
Mandai massacre 1980 Tripura 255-500 Bengali Hindu refugees [58]
Nellie massacre 18 February 1983 Assam 2,191 Bengali Muslims in Assam [59]
Train Passenger massacre I (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 23 February 1984 Punjab 11 Hindus
1984 anti-Sikh riots 31 October – 4 November 1984 Primarily Delhi but also other parts of India 2,800 to 8,000 Sikhs all over India Series of pogroms by Congress supporters after Assassination of Indira Gandhi
Hondh-Chillar massacre (part of the 1984 anti-Sikh massacres) 2 November 1984 Hondh-Chillar, Haryana 32 Sikhs Rioting by Indian National Congress Party members after Assassination of Indira Gandhi.
Desri Ground massacre (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 28 March 1986 Ludhiana, Punjab 13 Hindus
Mallian massacre (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 29 March 1986 Jalandhar, Punjab 20 Hindu labourers
Bus Passenger massacre III (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 25 July 1986 Mukatsar, Punjab 15 Hindus
Bus Passenger massacre IV (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 30 November 1986 Khudda, Punjab 24 Hindus
Hashimpura massacre 22 May 1987 Meerut, Uttar Pradesh 42 Muslims
Bus Passenger massacre V (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) July 1987 Fatehbad, Haryana 80 Hindus
Jagdev Kalan massacre (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 6 August 1987 Punjab 13 Hindus
Rajbah massacre (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 31 March 1988 Punjab 18 Hindus belonging to 1 family
Hazaribagh massacre September 1989 Hazaribag 53 Hindus and 20 Muslims.
Bhagalpur riots October 1989 Bhagalpur, Bihar The total dead numbered around 1000, around 900 were Muslims; it was difficult to establish the religious identity of other victims. Two false rumors about the killing of Hindu students started circulating: one rumor stated that nearly 200 Hindu university students had been killed by the Muslims, while another rumor stated that 31 Hindu boys had been murdered with their bodies dumped in a well at the Sanskrit College.
1990 Kashmiri Pandit genocide 1990s Kashmir 219-399 Hindus 140,000 to 192,000 Hindus were forced to abandon their ancestral land. [60][60][61]
Gawakadal massacre 20 January 1990 Srinagar, Kashmir 50 Kashmiri protesters Indian Forces opened fire on a group of Kashmiri protesters, who were resorting to heavy stone pelting.
Rajbah massacre (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 31 March 1988 Punjab 18 Hindus belonging to 1 family
Train Passenger massacre II (part of the 1991 Punjab killings) 15 June 1988 Ludhiana, Punjab 80 (mostly Hindus)
Train Passenger massacre III (part of the 1991 Punjab killings) December 1988 Ludhiana, Punjab 49 (mostly Hindus)
Ayodhya police firing October 30, 1990 Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh 16 Hindus (official figure) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav ordered the police to open fire on kar sevaks who reached Ayodhya and attempted to attack the Babri masjid. The dead bodies were allegedly thrown in Saryu river. [62][63][64]
1991 Anti-Tamil violence of Karnataka 12–13 December 1991 Mainly Bangalore, Mysore but also other parts of southern Karnataka 18 Tamils Response to anti-Kannada activities by Tamils in Bengaluru Nagara district.
Bombay Riots December 1992 – January 1993 Mumbai 575 Muslims, 275 Hindus, 45 unknown and 5 others Hindu-Muslim communal riot as an effect of Demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya
Sopore massacre 6 January 1993 Sopore, Kashmir 55 Kashmiri protesters Firing on procession by Security Forces
Bijbehara Massacre October 22, 1993 Bijbehara, Kashmir 55 Kashmiri protestors Indian armed forces fired upon unarmed Kashmiri protestors resulting in 55 civilian deaths.
Rampur Tiraha firing case 1–2 October 1994 Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh 6 Uttarakhand activists Police fired to stop protesters to go to Delhi and some women were allegedly raped and molested in the ensuing melee.
1997 Ramabai killings 11 July 1997 Ramabai colony, Mumbai 10 people of the Dalit caste A team of State Reserve Police Force members fired upon a crowd protesting the recent desecration of a statue of Dalit activist B. R. Ambedkar.
Laxmanpur Bathe massacre 1 December 1997 Arwal district, Bihar 58 people of the Dalit caste Upper caste Ranvir Sena enter village at night and kill 58 Dalits, were sympathizers of the Maoists behind the killing of 37 upper caste men in Bara in Gaya district in 1992. [65]
1998 Wandhama massacre 25 January 1998 Wandhama, Jammu and Kashmir 23 Kashmiri Pandit Unknown gunmen
1998 Prankote massacre 17 April 1998 Jammu and Kashmir 26 Hindus
1998 Chapnari massacre 19 June 1998 Chapnari, Jammu and Kashmir 25 Hindus Muslim Terrorist groups
1998 Chamba massacre 3 August 1998 Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh 35 Hindus Communal Riots
Chittisinghpura massacre 20 March 2000 Chittisinghpura, Anantnag district, Jammu and Kashmir 36 Sikhs Islamic Terrorist groups
Gouranga Tilla massacre 2000 Tripura 16 non-tribal Hindus By Christian extremist. Part of Christian terrorism in Tripura [66]
Bagber massacre 20 May 2000 Tripura 25 non-tribal Hindus By Christian extremist. Part of Christian terrorism in Tripura [66]
Tripura Tribal massacre (Part of Christian terrorism in Tripura) 1999–2000 Tripura 20 tribal Hindus Includes murder of tribal Hindu spiritual leader Shanti Kali, and Hindu religious leader Labh Kumar Jamatia. [67][68]
Nanoor massacre 27 July 2000 West Bengal 11 labourers
2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre 1 August 2000 Jammu and Kashmir 30 (Hindu pilgrims) Muslim Terrorist groups
2001 Kishtwar massacre 3 August 2001 Jammu and Kashmir 19 Hindus Muslim Terrorist groups
Godhra massacre 27 February 2002 Godhra, Gujarat 59 Hindus Hindu passengers burnt alive in a train fire by radical Muslim mob. The commission set up by the Government of Gujarat to investigate the train burning spent 6 years going over the details of the case, and concluded that the fire was arson committed by a mob of 1000–2000 people. A court convicted 31 Muslims for the incident and the conspiracy for the crime. [69][70][71]
2002 Gujarat Violence 28 February 2002 Ahmedabad 2,044 people were killed (1254 Muslims and 790 Hindus), 2,500 injured. Communal Violence [72]
Gulbarg Society massacre (part of the 2002 Gujarat violence) 28 February 2002 Ahmedabad 69 (mostly Muslims)
Naroda Patiya massacre (part of the 2002 Gujarat violence) 28 February 2002 Naroda, Ahmedabad 97 Muslims [73][74][75]
Raghunath Hindu temple massacre I (part of 2002 Raghunath temple attacks) 30 March 2002 Jammu & Kashmir 11 Hindus killed, 20 injured (Hindu devotees) Muslim Terrorist
2002 Qasim Nagar massacre 13 July 2002 Jammu and Kashmir 29 Hindus Terror Attack
Akshardham Temple attack 24 September 2002 Gujarat 29 killed, 79 injured (Hindus) terrorists groups
Raghunath Hindu temple massacre II (part of 2002 Raghunath temple attacks) 24 November 2002 Jammu & Kashmir 14 killed, 45 injured (mostly Hindu devotees) terrorists groups
2003 Nadimarg Massacre 23 March 2002 Jammu and Kashmir 24 Hindus terrorists groups
2002 Kaluchak massacre 14 May 2002 Jammu and Kashmir 31 terrorists groups attack Tourist bus and Army's family quarter attacked.
Marad Massacre May 2003 Kerala 8 killed, 58 injured - A.
2006 Varanasi bombings March 2006 Uttar Pradesh 28 killed, 101 injured -Devotees of Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple targeted Terrorist attack Hindu temple.
2006 Doda massacre 30 April 2006 Jammu & Kashmir 35 Hindus terrorists
Samjhauta Express Massacre 18 February 2007 Diwana station 68 people mostly Pakistani nationals and some Indians including some Railway employees [76]
Tumudibandh violence (part of the Murder of Swami Lakshmanananda) August 2008 Orissa 5 Hindus By Christian extremists
Kandhamal riots August 2008 Orissa 42 Christians [77]
26/11 Mumbai attacks 26 November 2008 Mumbai 164+(11 Attacker) & (600+ Injuries) 11 coordinated attacks by Pakistani terrorists; casualties include people of various nationalities, and Israeli victims were reportedly tortured before being killed. [78]
April 2010 Maoist attack in Dantewada 06 April 2010 Chhattisgarh 76 Maoist terrorist ambushed CRPF
2010 Dantewada bus bombing 17 May 2010 Chhattisgarh 44 Maoist terrorist attacked civilian bus
2012 Assam violence July 2012 Assam 77 Racial sentiments of the majority Assamese and Bodo community towards the local Bengali speaking Muslim community leads to several attempts to deport the minority Bengali Muslums to Bangladesh forcefully, thus with a protest in defence from the other party, Communal violence broke out between Assamese, Bodos (Tribal, Christian & Hindu faith) and Bengali speaking Muslims
2013 Naxal attack in Darbha valley 25 May 2013 Chhattisgarh 28 28 people from a Congress Party motorcade
2013 Muzaffarnagar riots 25 August 2013 – 17 September 2013 Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh 42 Muslims and 20 Hindus killed and 93 injured Eve-teasing, murder of a Muslim boy, then public lynching of the murderers (two Hindu boys) triggered communal riot between the Jats & the Muslim community.
2014 Meerut riots 10 May 2014 Meerut, Uttar Pradesh 3 killed and 50 injured [79][80]
2014 Saharanpur riots 25 July 2014 Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh 3 killed and 33 injured [81]

See also[edit]


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