written by: Wikipedia
The 1985 Gujarat riots began in February and lasted till October 1986, in the city of . The violence caused an estimated death toll of 275, thousands of injuries and tens of thousands displaced. According to Asghar Ali Engineer, the riots were organized by the Bharatiya Janata Party to cause the downfall of the government of Madhav Singh Solanki. Initially the riots were an intra Hindu issue over the policy of the state government but this turned into a communal riot between Hindus and Muslims. The rioters had initially targeted state property but within a month began to target Muslims and Muslim owned property.
Solanki having won the elections in March formed a government which out of twenty ministers had fourteen serving. The upper castes reacted violently, as they felt they had made their feelings clear regarding quotas during the riots in 1981. The state announced an increase from ten percent to twenty eight percent in the reserved quotas for lower castes for state employment. A stay was issued by the high court on implementing the quotas and following the derailment of a train on 5 July Solanki stepped down.
There were attacks on and Muslim neighborhoods in and . According to testimony from Dalits, members of the BJP legislative assembly who during the riots in 1981 had assaulted them gave them aid during the 1985 violence. The Congress and other Naxalite groups provided the Dalits with weapons, legal help and money