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Posted Online on Friday, 10 November 2006 23:55 IST

Muslim Islamic NewsGujarat carnage: Is there hope?

Dont miss: November 11th 2006 - 4pm to 7pm Delhi

The Milli Gazette Online

10 November 2006

Gujarat  2002  witnessed  an  estimated  killing  of  2000  people, rape of  approximately  400 women,  property  damage  worth  Rs 3800  crores,   around    1100   restaurants    destroyed,      563 religious    places  destroyed  or  damaged.   About  2.5 lakh  people   were   directly   displaced.

Where  do  we  stand  today  almost  five  years down  the  line?

The   percentage  of  compensation  compared  to  the official damage comes to a meager  7 %.   To top it all,  the  State Government  recently  decided to return Rs 19 crores  saying that there was  no  further  need!   While    maximum  ceiling  to  property  damage   was   pegged   at Rs 50,000.00  (well below  compared  to other similar cases like anti-Sikh riots package),  less than  10% people  have  received  over  Rs 30,000.00 ! There are on the other hand,  numerous  cases  where  people  have  been  paid  as  low as  Rs 60.00 - Rs. 500.00 !   Most of it  remains within  the   range  of  Rs. 1200.00 Rs. 2500.00 !

Recent   surveys  reveal  the  shocking facts  that  there  are  between 5000 to 10,000  families  still  living  in  relief  camps  (ranging between 50 to 80)!   They   are  not  recognized  by  the State  Government  and  remain  without  any  basic  civic  amenities!

Out  of  a total  of  4252 FIRs  lodged  (very minuscule compared to unofficial figures),   2208   cases   were  summarily  closed  and  police  has  shown unprecedented  alacrity  in  releasing those accused within one year of the carnage.  According  to  latest figures,  214 people are still languishing in jails under POTA, all Muslims !

Severe  economic   and   social   boycott   continues   not  only   against  the  victims  but    the  minorities  in  general.  In a recent case, 70 people were denied their  BPL  cards  by  the  State officials  over  the  charges  that  they  were  Bangladeshis.  An  extreme  sense  of   exclusion, marginalization    and    hopelessness   remains  palpable  among   the  minorities.    The   State  Government  on  the  other hand  continues   to  accuse  those raising these issues  for trying  to divide five  crore Gujaratis !
Despite  all  this,  there  seems  to  be  a  larger  amnesia  about  the  continuing  plight  of   the Muslims in Gujarat. This panel discussion is another attempt to 
bring Gujarat back into focus, into  the collective  memory  of  the  people. This  is crucial,  as Gujarat remains just one of the instances,  while  the  rest  of  the  country  is  on  its  way  to becoming  the larger laboratory  of   the Hindutva.
If   you   believe  in   notions   like  secular  democracy,  liberty,  freedom,  equality,  diversity, pluralism, be part of this process. For this, Gujarat  remains  the  test  case.

Shake  the  conscience  


civil  society  


the  State  !


Spread the word around....Join in large numbers.



Date: November 11th 2006
Time:   1600 hrs to 1900 hrs
Venue: Hall  M2,  World  Social Forum India, Exhibition Ground, Jawaharlal Nehru Statium, New  Delhi

Teesta Setalvad

Swami Agnivesh
Fr Cedric Prakash
Farah Naqvi

Kamalmitra  Chenoy

Siddhartha  Varadrajan

Sophia  Khan

Hiren Gandhi

Lallubhai Desai



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