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

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…

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.

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)".

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).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

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).

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

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.