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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Social workers, architects, students, historians, common people come together, protest "politics" of renaming Ahmedabad

By Nandini Oza*
No sooner did the BJP leaders of Gujarat announce the intention of changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati just before Diwali, on November 7, 2018, many people’s mood changed from festivity to heated debate and furor across the state. For many of us, an online petition, initiated by Bandish Soparkar, on change.org protesting name change came to immediate rescue.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”