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Muslims in Gujarat seek justice and not retaliation

When Muslims are reeling under constant fear for their lives and have been confined to either relief camps or their homes in Gujarat, rumours are being spread that they may go for retaliatory attacks. Several far-fetched imaginative stories have started appearing in newspapers in this regard.

Setting the ball rolling the Home Minister LK Advani said on 10 May in a meeting of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Internal Security that there were ‘reliable reports including intercepts, pointing to underworld elements seeking assistance from Pakistan to carry out retaliatory actions in Gujarat and even parts of Maharashtra’. He went on to say ‘Help from across the border is being sought for supply of arms, ammunition and explosives for undertaking such acts of violence. Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Dawood Ibrahim’s and late Abdul Latif’s gangs and underworld dons here are involved in this conspiracy. 

Several reports have appeared during the last fortnight over the alleged plan of terrorist organizations and underworld groups to team up with the people living in relief camps or Muslim majority areas in Ahmadabad or elsewhere in Gujarat to start retaliatory strikes. Delhi police alleged after a shoot-out in New Delhi on 9 May in which two alleged Pakistani terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed and three arrested that they were there to recruit Muslims to carry out retaliatory strikes in Gujarat.

On 12 May a report was published in the Pioneer, a New Delhi-based daily, that a hitherto unknown Gujarati underworld don Sharif Khan was trying to import arms from South Africa to retaliate Muslims’ killing all over Gujarat. The paper said, ‘in a classified report sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Intelligence Bureau has revealed that at the behest of Dubai based don Ayub Memon, a conspiracy was hatched in South Africa to offload a large quantity of high-quality explosives at the port. For logistical support, Rs 2.5 million were arranged by a Dubai firm run by Dawood’s brother Anees.’ 

Another report that appeared in newspapers on 18 May said that a Banglore based underworld don Muthappa Rai was planning to carry out bomb blasts in retaliation of Muslims’ killing in Gujarat. According to news reports he was asked by Dawood Ibrahim and his henchmen to do it. 

This has now become a routine. It is amazing that security agencies that failed to get any inkling about the ‘planned’ attack on Sabarmati Express in Godhra and then failed to do anything about the well organized massacre of Muslims in Ahmadabad, Baroda, Modassa, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Panchmahal district and other areas of Gujarat are so dexterously coming out with new and newer revelations. There were no warnings about the large-scale massacre of Muslims in Ahmadabad, Baroda and Godhra. Even when Ehsan Jaffri a former Congress MP was pleading with authorities that he has been seized along with dozens of other people by an unruly mob, these agencies didn’t inform the home minister that the former MP was going to be killed by Sanghi mob. When Muslim women and children were pleading with State Reserve Police in Naroda Patia where it’s headquarters is based, the site of worst massacre, there were no intelligence reports to the home minister.

Muslims in Gujarat are not only the sufferers of rioting, killing and rapine, they are also being targeted in a calculated, vicious and annoying propaganda war. People whether living in a relief camp or a Muslim majority area or for that matter in mixed colonies are scared for their safety and safety and security of their sisters, brothers and children who survived the well-planned and highly organized pogrom organized by the sangh vandals. They are scared and apprehensive that they may be targeted at any time again. 

Retaliation is not on their minds. For them survival is the first thing that matters right now. A large number of Muslims in Ahmadabad and all over Gujarat are forced to starve due to the destruction of their houses and properties and loot of their life long savings. They have to build their houses and raise money to do that. They have to start their lives from scratches and build their destroyed businesses afresh. 

While I was in Gujarat when the whole state was aflame, I was surprised as to how everybody talked of peace and not retaliation. Even the youth were longing for normalcy to return so that they could continue their studies, restart their businesses and begin their lives afresh. They were seeking justice from authorities. It seemed strange but probably they lived in the old Gujarat, a Gujarat that longed for peace, harmony and ahimsa (non-violence) as advocated by Gandhiji and not by manjhle sarkar and chote sarkar.

It is amazing as to how LK Advani, his home ministry and his intelligence agencies are able to get very phony intercepts from across the border in this regard and fail to listen to rhetorics, see the killings and arrest the culprits who live in their own backyards. The likes of Pravin Togadia, Giriraj Kishore and Ashok Singhal who have been openly claiming the credit for the organized rioting in Gujarat are not being arrested, but innocent Muslim youth are being constantly targeted, tortured and incarcerated for no crimes at all. 

¯ MG Correspondent

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