( Jan Morcha, edited by Sheetla Prasad, is a
Hindi daily published from Ayodhya. The paper carried the following story
on 25 Feb. 2002).
Bhelsar (Faizabad), 24 February: Trishuldhari
Bajrang Dal workers, travelling to Ayodhya on board the Sabarmati Express
this morning, let loose a reign of terror upon dozens of helpless Muslim
passengers, burqa clad women and innocent children. They also
targeted the people waiting at the platform, forcing them to shout the
slogan, Jai Shree Ram! A few even declared themselves to be
Hindus in order to escape their wrath.
According to eyewitnesses, close to 2,000 trishul
carrying Bajrang Dal workers on board the Sabarmati Express coming from
the direction of Lucknow began indulging in these activities from the
Daryabad Station. Anyone identified as a Muslim on the train was
mercilessly attacked with trishuls and beaten with iron rods. Even
women and innocent children were not spared. Burqas were pulled
off, women were beaten with iron rods and dragged, people waiting at the
platform were also similarly targeted.
This continued between the Daryabad and Rudauli
stations. According to an eyewitness, a youth who protested against this
barbarism was thrown off the train between the Patranga and Rojagaon
stations. Several women, badly wounded and covered in blood, jumped off
the train as it pulled into Rudauli around 8 a.m. The Bajrang Dal
activists also got off the train and started attacking those whom they
identified as Muslims from among those present on the platform.
Ata Mohammad, from Takia Khairanpur, waiting to catch a
train to Allahabad, was badly beaten; some others were forced to shout,
Jai Shree Ram! Some escaped by declaring that they were Hindus.
50-year-old Mohd. Absar who lives near the station was grabbed as he
stepped out of his house. His long beard was rudely pulled before he was
repeatedly stabbed with trishuls. Another man from the Rudauli
police station area who happened to be at the station was badly beaten
with iron rods. Local residents rang up the police.
By the time the police chowki-in-charge, Bhelsar,
arrived at the station, the train had left and the injured were being
rushed to the hospital. No report was registered at the police station
since the officer-in-charge was unavailable. The injured have no idea why
they were attacked. Rumours are rife. The people are petrified; respected
Hindus and Muslims of the area have condemned the shameful attack, Muslim
religious leaders have appealed for peace and requested that there be no