Skip to main content

Gujarat riot victims: Teesta held our hand when even relatives refused

Riot victims on February 28 at Prashant
By Our Representative
About 40 victim-survivors from some of the most-affected colonies of Ahmedabad and other towns during the 2002 Gujarat riots – Naroda Patiya, Citizen Nagar, Ekta Nagar, Faizal Park, Visnagar and Gulberg Society – on Saturday raised a strong voice supporting well-known human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, saying the Gujarat government is harassing her because she stood by them during their most critical times, and ensured 126 convictions.
Rupa Modi and Sairaben of Gulberg Society said, referring to the manner in which the riot accused are being set free, and police officials involved for fake encounters are getting bail, this stands in sharp contrast to the way the state government is trying to implicate her in misappropriation of funds meant for Gujarat riot victims.
The victims, who had gathered at the Prashant Centre for Human Rights and Peace in Ahmedabad, made the 13th anniversary of Gujarat riots as the occasion to relate their plight for all these years. Heenaben of Naroda Patiya said, “Only because of Teesta Setalvad that we have been able to get some justice, though so far we have only reached half-way.”
Naimbhai of Naroda Patiya said, “Till the 2002 riots, we had never experienced any communal flareup. It was terrible. My wife was raped and burnt alive. I reached hospital without any clothes.” He added, “Teesta Setalvad helped us at a time when no relative came to help us. Now, she is being sought to be implicated, and the culprits are being set free.”
Ahmedabad riot victims stage protest in Ahmedabad
Yusuf Khan Pathan from Visnagar said he remembers how at the Dipda Darwaja 11 persons were burnt alive. “We did not even get bodies of those who were dead”, he said, adding, “At a time when none came in to support us, Teesta Setalvad alone helped us… Right now, those who are accused are roaming around freely. Muslims should unite. We must go up to the Supreme Court to get justice.”  
Usmanbhai of Faisal Park said, as many as eight members of his family – including his three daughters and three sons – were burnt alive during the 2002 riots. “Those who have betrayed Teesta Setalvad should know, we do not want money, but justice. Efforts to buy us over will not succeed. She is even today with us…”
In a statement, Father Cedric Prakash, who heads Prashant, said, “Exactly thirteen years ago, on February 28th 2002, India witnessed one of the bloodiest chapters of history when hundreds of Muslims: men, women and children were brutally massacred, raped, looted, dispossessed in towns and villages in various parts of Gujarat; all this was in the wake of the burning of the S-6 bogey of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra the previous day February 27, 2002.”
“Since then”, he said, “Several victim-survivors with support from others, have relentlessly fought for justice and with a hope that one day they will be give n their rightful place in society. Some measure of justice has definitely been delivered; however, all are aware that the main culprits particularly, those who orchestrated these dastardly acts, have not yet been convicted or even if they have been, they are now out on bail.”

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Ex-official: Murmu, appointed as CAG, will 'surely' perform shradh of the institution

Counterview Desk
A former senior official of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Shantanu Basu, in a Facebook comment in the wake of the appointment of GC Murmu, a Gujarat IAS cadre official of the 1985, has raised doubts about the independence of CAG following the Government of India move.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.