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Published in the 1-15 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

790 Muslims, 254 Hindus perished in post-Godhra

The Milli Gazette Online

New Delhi: The government informed the Rajya Sabha on 11 May that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed in Gujarat in the post-Godhra riots of 2002. Stating this in a written reply, minister of state for home affairs Sriprakash Jaiswal said a total of 223 people were reported missing, 2,548 sustained injuries, 919 were rendered widows and 606 children were orphaned during the riots. 

He said an amount of Rs 1.5 lakh was paid by the government to the next of kin of each person killed and Rs 5,000, Rs 15,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 to those injured up to 10 30, 40 and 50 per cent respectively.
The state government, he said, has informed that a total of Rs 204.62 crore has been incurred by it towards relief and rehabilitation measures. 

Ex gov accuses Modi of taking riots "lightly" 
New Delhi: BJP veteran Sunder Singh Bhandari, who was the Governor of Gujarat during the Godhra riots, dropped a bombshell on 12 May by comparing the riots with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and accusing Chief Minister Narendra Modi of taking the violence "lightly". 

In remarks critical of both Modi and the then BJP-led Central government, he said that removal of the controversial Chief Minister was one of the ways which could have prevented the situation from deteriorating. The situation would have not worsened if the central leadership had reacted immediately, he told Hindi magazine Outlook Saptahik. 

"The riots were taken lightly and this left deep wounds which need to be healed. People would continue to remember Godhra in the same way they recall the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi which took place 50 years ago," he is quoted as saying. 

The riots continued for two days due to late action. If action would have been taken on the first day, it would have been better, Bhandari said.

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