Muslims Flee Gujurat Prior to Election, Concerned About Anti-Muslim Violence

April 19, 2004

Source: Yahoo! News

On April 19, 2004 Yahoo! News posted an Agence France Presse article that reported, "Hundreds of Muslim families were fleeing their homes in Hindu neighbourhoods ahead of voting for national elections in India's Gujarat state, where 2,000 people died in riots two years ago. They headed for homes of relatives in Muslim localities or to take shelter in public places such as railway stations and mosques despite the heavy deployment of security forces in the western state ahead of Tuesday's polls...India's national elections will be held on five dates in different parts of the country starting Tuesday. Gujarat is among the states where the polls will be conducted in the first round. The state's ruling Hindu nationalist BJP party spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas said omission of some names from the voters' list was not intentional but due to human error. 'It is not uncommon that many persons, whether they are Hindus or Muslims, may not have their names on the voters' list,' he added. Vyas said Muslims had nothing to fear during the elections."