Skip to main content

Abandoned?: Displaced in Gujarat 2002 riots, 3,000 Muslim families face eviction from their former "protectors"

By Rajiv Shah
In an astounding revelation, 14 years after the horrendous communal flare-up in Gujarat, in which at least 1,000 people died and nearly one lakh got displaced, about 3,000 families still living in irregular rehabilitation colonies are facing hostility from several well-known Muslim NGOs which had initially helped them.
Even as naming these organizations, a policy paper, authored by two senior Ahmedabad-based activists, Johanna Lokhande and Hozefa Ujjaini, has alleged, “These organizations have turned their backs on the people refusing to entertain them.”
Calling it a new challenge, the paper, titled “Failing Act of Benevolence”, a copy of which Counterview, says, what is adding insult to injury all these colonies is, these NGOs helped these riot victims on to resettle on private land by providing them plots, they are not being allowed “ownership rights”, with threat of eviction if they raise their voice.
“In certain places, where committees were formed to overlook at the welfare of the colonies, these committees have turned hostile to the displaced people and have threatened the residents about losing their homes if they protested unnecessarily”, the paper underlines.
“Out of the 83 colonies in only in 17 the houses are in the name of the residents. Availing, passport, pan card and aadhaar card becomes difficult for these residents as they do not have any document that certifies them as residents of these areas”, the paper says.
Giving the example of the much-talked-about and much-documented Citizen Nagar in the Bombay Hotel area of Ahmedabad, situated right in the middle of a lethal poisonous landfill site, where the garbage of the entire city is deposited, the paper says, “The poor residents have nowhere to go, neither do they have the house in the colony in their name.”
“Lack of potable drinking water, poisonous gases being emitted constantly from the land field where the garbage is burnt, the local authorities seem to be oblivious to human existence in that area. Monsoons create havoc in that area and makes living condition inhuman”, it adds.
In yet another example, the paper says, “In Peepli village in Anand district a small colony of eight houses was built by a private donor who offered land to some of the displaced persons in his farm, where he allowed them to build houses and live.”
However, it adds, “After the demise of this donor his son refuses to allow those people to live in those houses so much so has cut the water supply these these houses live in dire condition now.
The organizations the paper names which allegedly have “turned their back” include some well-known all-India Islamic bodies, as also Muslim trusts operating from Hyderabad, Mumbai and Vadodara. Pointing out that these NGOs, along with a few builders, initially did “help rebuild the lives of all the displaced persons”, but are now “refusing to entertain them.”
The result, according to this paper, is that, some families from Citizen Nagar have gone “all the way to Kerela to find solution to their housing problems.” Worse, it says, “Incidents of moral policing, and sectarian divide conflicts internally within communities have become rampant in these areas”.
Calling it a “forced ghettoization” which “excludes” sections of the community in distress from the mainstream, the paper says, some families who have come together to form Visthapit Ladat Samit to put up their case, have approached the Gujarat government.
Supported by Ahmedabad-based NGO Janvikas, they approached the Gujarat chief minister and the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) seeking intervention.
Regretting that the chief minister “transferred” their plea to the revenue department, and the revenue department dismissed the application, the paper says, the SHRC has gone “a step further”. Citing Section 36(2) of the law which formed the SHRC, it dismissed the plea saying that the matter is more than one year old hence “no action” could be deemed in the matter.

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

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

Nalanda mahavihara 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".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.