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Islami Relief Committee - Gujarat
4th Floor, Karishma Complex, Sarni Society, Behind APMC Market, 
132 Ft Ring Road, Ahmedabad 380 055, Gujarat, India
Phone: (+91-79) 681 9086; Fax: (+91-79) 682 0828, 
Fax (temporary): (+91-79) 682 1724
Mobile: (+91) 9825067315 / 9825037718

Brief Report on Gujarat riots

March 2, 2002:
 
In Panchmahal district of Gujarat state at Godhra Railway station, on 27 February at about 8:00 am, burning to death of 60 passengers of Sabarmati Express occurred. This inhuman act is condemnable, and it should not have happened. This grave incident has certain psychological reasons. If these reasons are explored, they shall help solve the national crisis. At the same time the aftermath of Godhra train incident should also be condemned. While writing this report on the third day of the riots, 210 deaths have occurred officially. Unofficially more than 500 people are dead, and most of them are Muslims. Follow are some details of the riots and their consequences:

Ahmedabad City/Suburb: In Naroda locality behind S.T. Workshop, around 60 Muslims have been burnt alive, their property looted and set on fire. At Chamanpura, Gulmarg Society almost 60 Muslims have been burnt alive. Victims include Mr. Ahsan Jafri, former member of Parliament with his family members. His property too has been burnt.

Dahod District: At Panderwada and Khanpur villages, 100 Muslims have been burnt to death. Their properties looted and houses and shops set afire.

Vijapur Taluka: At village Sardarpur and Ladol, 32 Muslims have been burnt alive.

It is a great irony that not a single deplorable statement mentioning the above massacres of more than 200 Muslims, has come out. Apart from these 200 persons, 250 more Muslims have been killed or burnt alive in almost all major towns/cities/talukas and villages of the state of Gujarat.

In the views of leading political personalities, which include the Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, the above massacres of Muslims are a result of a reaction of the Godhra train incident. Not a single news item is seen mentioning the misdeeds, misbehaviour and uncivilized attitude of karsevaks. No one mentioned the reasons behind this great problem of confrontation which has tormented the fabric of united India.

It is very painful and worrisome that for an unwarranted incident which has taken place at Godhra, the complete Gujarat state is facing riots, burning alive, murdering, looting property and set it on fired. As per media reports, in almost all these incidents several thousands (10 to 20 thousand) hooligans are attacking their victims with weapons in an organized way. In more than 15 districts and 80 villages, violence has resulted in looting and burning several thousand houses, shops, showrooms, restaurants, a 3-star hotel and godowns. The major affected areas are: Panchmahal, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Bharuch, Surat, Kheda, Anand, Nadiad, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Mehsana, Patan, and several other places. Around 80 to 100 villages in the above places are affected.

The current riots, which have engulfed almost all the state of Gujarat, reminds of the riots of 1969. It seems that the loss of human life and properties is multiplied this time due to defunct state machinery. There are several incidents of demolishing/setting afire of holy places, Masjids, and putting idols in certain Masjids. At Balol, Anand district a Masjid have been completely demolished, its Imam and his wife were burnt alive. It is shameful for the state government that its capital is not spared. The offices of the Waqf Board, Minority Board and Hajj Office, which are housed in a high security zone within the Government Secretariat are damaged and burnt. Here also several houses/shops have been looted and burnt.

There is little hope that the series of riots, private firing, burning alive, looting and burning properties will come to an end soon. All these incidents are taking place under the cover of police in the name of protection. Due to this the minority community has lost complete faith in the state machinery, viz. Police and State Reserve Police (SRP). There are several incidents where fleeing Muslims entrusted the properties with the Police/SRP for protection but on return they found their properties looted and burnt.

From 28 February morning, when local police and SRP were found not only inadequate but protecting the hooligans, all sane people requested for immediate deployment of the army. However, army was actually deployed in the late evening of 1 March, after very high pressure from all quarters. The present army strength is also inadequate in view of the magnitude and dimension of the on-going riots. For God's sake, we request the strength of army/BSF to be increased immediately or otherwise riots may engulf the neighbouring state of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and may be even the rest of country. For God's sake please take necessary steps at once.

Muhammad Shafi Madni
Chairman, Islami Relief Committee - Gujarat

Islami Relief Committee - Gujarat
4th Floor, Karishma Complex, Sarni Society, Behind APMC Market, 
132 Ft Ring Road, Ahmedabad 380 055, Gujarat, India
Phone: (+91-79) 681 9086; Fax: (+91-79) 682 0828, 
Fax (temporary): (+91-79) 682 1724
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