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 Reference(s)
Bakthiyar's invasion of Bihar 1202 Gahadavala Unknown Bakhtiyar Khalji attacked a fort, which he discovered was a Vihara, likely Nalanda. He also captured Vikramashila and wrought havoc there. [1]
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. [2][3]
Siege of Chittorgarh (1303) 1303 Chittor, Guhila kingdom 30,000 Alauddin Khalji ordered the massacre of 30,000 people of Chittor after besieging and capturing it, according to Amir Khusrau. [4]
Massacre of Srirangam 1323 Srirangam, Pandyan kingdom 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. [5]
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. [6]
Battle of Mudgal 1365 Mudgal Unknown Bukka Raya I seized the town and put the garrison to the sword. [7]
Massacres around Vijayanagara 1365–1367 Areas surrounding Vijayanagara,

Vijayanagara Empire

500,000 Hindus 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 garrison of Mudgal. [8][9][10]
Battle of Bhatner 1398 Bhatner fort,

Delhi Sultanate

10,000 Hindus 10,000 inhabitants were killed after some of them started resisting the demand of paying ransom to Timurid forces. [11][12]
Execution of slaves by Timurid forces 1398 Loni, Ghaziabad,

Delhi Sultanate

100,000 Hindu 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. [13]
Timurid campaign in Haryana 1398 Haryana (then part of

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 civilians 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 the fort of Assandh, and on the way was joined by another wing of his army that destroyed all villages in the way. [14][15]
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. [16][17][18]
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. [19][20]
Battle of Ahmednagar 1559-60 Ahmednagar Sultanate Unknown According to Firishta, the Vijayanagar army of Ram Raya allied with Bijapur laid waste to the Ahmednagar's country so thoroughly that from Parenda to Junnar and from Ahmednagar to Daulatabad, not a vestige of population left. They also massacred and looted Muslims in Ahmednagar. During the siege of Ahmednagar fort, Ali Adil Shah of Bijapur and Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah of Golconda also laid waste to the adjacent territory. [21][22][23]
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. [24]
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. [25][26]
Siege of Chittorgarh February 1568 Chittor Fort,

Udaipur State

30,000 Hindus About 30,000 non-combatants were ordered to be executed while 8,000 Rajput women immolated themselves as part of jauhar. [27]
Massacres during Nader Shah's invasion of the Mughal Empire 1738–1740 Northern India,

Mughal Empire

300,000 Hindus Persian invaders massacred Indian civilians. [28]
Maratha expeditions in Bengal 1741–1751 Bengal Subah Unknown (Est. 400,000 people) A 1755 Dutch account estimates that over 400,000 people were killed in Bengal and Bihar including textile workers, merchants and other inhabitants. [29]
Chhōtā Ghallūghārā 1746 Lahore 10,000 Sikhs 7,000 Sikhs were killed in battle with armies of Diwan of Lahore. 3,000 were captured and executed in Lahore. [30][31]
Massacres after the Battle of Panipat 1761 Panipat, Haryana,

Maratha Empire

40,000–70,000 Maratha (Hindu) soldiers About 22,000 Maratha women and young children enslaved by the Afghans. [32][33][page needed]
Vaḍḍā Ghallūghārā 1763 Punjab Est. 25,000–30,000 Sikhs Perpetrated by Afghan Muslim forces of Ahmad Shah Durrani. [31]
Mangalore Christian massacre 1784–1799 Srirangapatna,

Kingdom of Mysore

5,600 Christians Persecution of Mangalore Catholic Christians by Tipu Sultan. [34]
Massacre of Mandyam Iyengars 1784–1799 Srirangapatna, Mandya district,

Kingdom of Mysore

700-800 Iyengars About 800 men, women and children of Mandyam Iyengar community were killed by Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatna. [35][36][37][better source needed]

Colonial India[edit]

Name/Place Date Location Deaths Notes Reference(s)
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 [38]
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 [39]
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. [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 Oct 1921 Malabar, Kerala, British Raj 2,337–10,000 Hindus (100,000 Hindus permanently migrated). Khilafat Movement considered as main cause.
Kohat riots 9–11 September 1924 Kohat, North-West Frontier Province, British Raj 155 Hindus and Sikhs were killed (100,000 Hindus permanently migrated).
Calcutta riots 15 July 1926 Calcutta, Bengal, British Raj 100+ dead, 200+ injured A Muslim mob attacked a Hindu possession, later broken up by a mounted police charge on the Muslim rioters. [42]
United Provinces riots 1923 to 1927 United Provinces, British Raj thousands dead and injured 88 separate communal riots, including the: 4 September 1927 Nagpur riots, 3–7 May 1927 Lahore, November 1927 Lahore. [43][44][45]
Nagpur riots 4 September 1927 Nagpur, Bombay Presidency, British Raj 22 killed, 100+ injured
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. [46]
Noakhali riots September–October 1946 East Bengal, British Raj 5,000 Hindus Muslim community attacked Hindu community for seizing wealth and forced conversion to Islam. Around 1,50,000 to 750,000 survivors were sheltered in temporary relief camps [47][48][49]
Bihar Massacre 30 October – 7 November 1946 Bihar, British Raj 2,000–3,000 Muslims By Hindus in reaction to Noakhali riots [50]
Garhmukteshwar Anti-Muslim Violence November 1946 United Provinces, British Raj at least 214 Muslims Partition of the country into India and Pakistan was looming. [51]
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.
[52][53][54][55]

Independent India[edit]

Name/Place Date Location Deaths Notes Reference(s)
Jammu massacres September to November 1947 Jammu Division, Jammu and Kashmir (princely state) 20,000–100,000 Muslims[56][57]

20,000+ Hindus and Sikhs[58][59][60]

[57][61][62][63][64]
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. [65][66]
Hyderabad massacre of 1948 1948 Hyderabad State 27,000 - 40,000 Muslims killed[67] 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. [67]
1966 anti-cow slaughter agitation 7 November 1966 New Delhi 5000 Hindus killed Hindu Sadhus and protestors killed by government [68]
Kilvenmani massacre 25 December 1968 Nagapattinam Tamil Nadu 44 killed Striking agricultural workers murdered by a gang, allegedly by their landlords.
1969 Gujarat riots 1969 Gujarat Officially 660 total; 430 Muslims, 24 Hindus, 58 others/unidentified casualties Hindu-Muslim riots. 1074 injured and over 48,000 lost their property. Unofficial reports claim as high as 2000 deaths. Muslim community suffered the majority of the losses. Out of the 512 deaths reported in the police complaints, 430 were Muslims. Property worth 42 million rupees destroyed during the riots, with Muslims losing 32 million worth of property. [69][70][71]
Turkman gate demolition and rioting 1976 Delhi Officially 6, unofficially 15 killed by police (nearly all Muslims). Killing of Delhi residents who refused to move residence. [72]
Marichjhapi incident January 31, 1979 West Bengal Official figures 2, Hindustan Times quotes 50 to 1000 Hindu refugees. Actual numbers estimated to be around 3000-5000. Killing of refugees who came from East Pakistan. [73]
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. [74]
Mandai massacre 1980 Tripura 255-500 Bengali Hindu refugees [75]
Nellie massacre 18 February 1983 Assam 2,191 Bengali Muslims In Assam [76]
Train Passenger massacre I (part of the terrorist incidents in Punjab) 23 February 1984 Punjab 11 Hindus
Indian army attack on Sikhs 1-7 June 1984 Punjab Indian army attacked with tanks on the Holiest shrine of Sikhs (Amritsar) on the day of Guru Arjun Dev's Martyrdom Day. And also destroyed the Sikh Reference Library.
1984 Sikh genocide (part of the 1984 Sikh Genocide) 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 Hindus after Assassination of Indira Gandhi.
Hondh-Chillar massacre (part of the 1984 Sikh Genocide) 2 November 1984 Hondh-Chillar, Haryana 32 Sikhs Killing by Hindus 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
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)
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 Hindus killings 1990s Kashmir Valley 5000 Hindus Large numbers had fled since 1989 to escape targeted killings and abductions. 219 were killed from 1989 to 2004 according to government of Jammu and Kashmir, while an organization of the community in Kashmir carried out a survey whose data stated that 399 had been killed since 1990 with an estimated 75% killed in 1990 alone. [77][78]

[79][80]

Gawakadal massacre 20 January 1990 Srinagar, Kashmir 50 Kashmiri Protestors Indian Forces opened fire, with heavy guns, on a group of Kashmiri protesters, who were pelting stones at the police
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. The dead bodies were allegedly thrown in Saryu river. [81][82][83]
1991 Anti-Tamil violence of Karnataka 12–13 December 1991 Mainly Bangalore, Mysore but also other parts of southern Karnataka 18 Tamils violence by kannadigas against civilans].l
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 students Security forces fired on procession.
Bijbehara Massacre October 22, 1993 Bijbehara, Kashmir 55 Kashmiri protestors Indian armed forces fired upon unarmed Kashmiri protestors resulting in 55 civilian deaths.
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. [84]
1998 Wandhama massacre 25 January 1998 Wandhama, Jammu and Kashmir 23 Kashmiri Pandit Unknown militants
1998 Prankote massacre 17 April 1998 Jammu and Kashmir 26 Hindus
1998 Chapnari massacre 19 June 1998 Chapnari, Jammu and Kashmir 25 Hindus Allegedly perpetrated by Pakistani-backed insurgents.
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 Attack by Islamic militant group
Gouranga Tilla massacre 2000 Tripura 16 non-tribal Hindus [85]
Bagber massacre 20 May 2000 Tripura 25 non-tribal Hindus [85]
Nanoor massacre 27 July 2000 West Bengal 11 labourers
2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre 1 August 2000 Jammu and Kashmir 30 (Hindu pilgrims) Attack by Muslim militants
2001 Kishtwar massacre 3 August 2001 Jammu and Kashmir 19 Hindus Attack by Muslim militants
Godhra massacre 27 February 2002 Godhra, Gujarat 59 Hindus Hindu passengers (mostly women and children) burnt alive and pelted with rocks in a train fire by radical Muslim mob of 200 surrounding the train. 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. Along with the fact the mob purposefully attacked the train in an act of premeditated murder. [86][87][88]
2002 Gujarat Violence 28 February 2002 Ahmedabad 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus killed, 223 reported missing, 2,500 injured Communal violence [89]
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 [90][91][92]
March 2002 Raghunath attack (part of 2002 Raghunath temple attacks) 30 March 2002 Jammu & Kashmir 11 Hindus killed, 20 injured (Hindu devotees) Muslim militant
2002 Qasim Nagar massacre 13 July 2002 Jammu and Kashmir 29 Hindus Terrorist attack
Akshardham Temple attack 24 September 2002 Gujarat 29 killed, 79 injured (Hindus) Terrorist attack
November 2002 Raghunath temple attack (part of 2002 Raghunath temple attacks) 24 November 2002 Jammu & Kashmir 14 killed, 45 injured (mostly Hindu devotees) Blamed on Lashkar-e-Taiba [93]
2003 Nadimarg Massacre 23 March 2002 Jammu and Kashmir 24 Hindus Terrorist attack
2002 Kaluchak massacre 14 May 2002 Jammu and Kashmir 31 Terrorist attack on a tourist bus and Army's family quarter.
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 on a Hindu temple.
2006 Doda massacre 30 April 2006 Jammu & Kashmir 35 Hindus Terrorist attack
Samjhauta Express Massacre 18 February 2007 Diwana station 68 people mostly Pakistani nationals and some Indians including some Railway employees [94]
26/11 Mumbai attacks 26 November 2008 Mumbai Over 164 killed, over 600 injured 11 coordinated attacks by Pakistani terrorists; casualties include people of various nationalities, and Israeli victims were reportedly tortured before being killed. [95]
April 2010 Maoist attack in Dantewada 6 April 2010 Chhattisgarh 76 Maoist militant ambushed CRPF
2010 Dantewada bus bombing 17 May 2010 Chhattisgarh 44 Maoist militant attacked a civilian bus.
2012 Assam violence July 2012 Assam 77 Racial sentiments of the majority Assamese and Bodo community towards the local Bengali speaking Bangladeshi 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, and Hindu faith) and Bengali speaking Bangladeshi 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 of Hindu Girls, murder of a Muslim boy, then public lynching of the murderers (two Hindu boys) triggered communal riot between the Hindu and the Muslim community.
2017 Amarnath Yatra attack 10 July 2017 Anantnag district, Jammu and Kashmir 8 Hindu pilgrims A bus carrying Hindu pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra was attacked by Lashkar-e-Taiba, resulting in deaths of 8 pilgrims. [96]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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