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

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

US publication blames Gates Foundation for 'accelerating' India's healthcare crisis

By Rajiv Shah A new book, published by the New York-based Monthly Press Review (MPR), has blamed Microsoft founder Bill Gates for “crowning” the crisis allegedly engulfing India’s health sector, stating, the top American billionaire’s foundation of late has acquired “extraordinary influence" over India’s public health governance,  giving a fillip to a policy that deprives access of public healthcare facilities for majority of the country’s population.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

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".

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.