Special Reports

Indian-Americans Observe 13th Anniversary of 2002 Gujarat Riots

On Saturday February 28, 2015, the Association of Indian Muslims of America and the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association, two organizations of Indian-Americans in Washington DC, held a public meeting at a community center in the suburb of Gaithersburg, to observe the 13th anniversary of the massacre of a large number of Muslims that occurred on February 28, 2002.
Several community leaders who spoke in the meeting including Kaleem Kawaja, Sayed Naved, Nasir Chhipa, Tahseen Mirza reminded the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India that, 13 long years after the well organized brutal attack by some sectarian organizations on a large number of innocent Muslim men, women and children in several cities in central Gujarat, only very few of the hundreds of culprits have been sentenced to jail.  The Gujarat state government legal authorities are continuing to delay criminal proceedings in courts of law against the many culprits despite clear instructions by the Supreme Court of India.  
In the years since the violence in which about 2,000 Muslim men, women and children were killed and the houses of about 100,000 of them were destroyed, in several instances the Gujarat state government legal authorities have destroyed critical evidence against the culprits, who in various instances were ministers, senior police officials and officials of the Gujarat government.  The enquiries conducted by the enquiry commissions appointed by Gujarat government, eg the Nanavati Commission were a sham and committed many irregularities. 
Of the about 100 marauders who were convicted and sentenced to jail terms by a court about two years ago, many including a Gujarat state government minister and some police officials have been released on bail by local courts on flimsy excuses.
Several reputed Indian and International human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch USA and the United Nations Human Rights body have repeatedly asked the Indian government to speed up the cases against the culprits.  Yet the local courts in Gujarat state are either dropping the cases claiming that there is not sufficient evidence, or are causing extreme delays.  
Speakers in the meeting demanded that the court cases against the alleged marauders be moved away from Gujarat to another state to prevent local politicians from obstructing and influencing the local courts in the administration of justice for the victims. At the end the meeting passed a resolution to the above effect to be submitted to the President of India.     

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