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UN day against religious violence: Gujarat riot victims seek 'proper' rehab policy

2002 riot victims at rehab colony in Nandasan, Mehsana
By Our Representative
The Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), Gujarat, has demanded that the Government of India should urgently formulate a comprehensive policy for rehabilitation of the victims of communal violence, pointing out that the 2002 Gujarat riots are a major example of persecution on the basis of religion in India.
The victims of the riots have still not properly compensated and rehabilitated by the government authorities, an MCC meeting held on the occasion of the International Day to Commemorate the Victims of Violence Based on Religion or Beliefs was told. The meeting took place at the 2002 riot-displaced colony of Nandasan in Mehsana district of North Gujarat
The colony was set up following the 2002 Gujarat riots by funds made available by a trust, as the government refused to give any alternative houses to the victims of violence. Participants in the meeting said, this suggested how they were discriminated against by the state on the basis of religion.
Riot victims' poster on Aug 22
Addressing the meeting, Wahab Ansari, a senior MCC activist, explaining the importance of the day, recalled that the UN General Assembly’s 73rd session decided to designate August 22 as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. The day comes right after the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, August 21.
The General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/73/296, recognized the importance of providing victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief and members of their families with appropriate support and assistance in accordance with applicable law, he pointed out.
The resolution deplored all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, as well as any such acts directed against their homes, businesses, properties, schools, cultural centres or places of worship, as well as all attacks on and in religious places, sites and shrines, calling all these as violation of international law.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Feroz Bhai, Sahraben Qureshi, Bhikhabhai Parmar, Asif Qureshi, Mahazbeen Ghanchi and others in the colony present at the meeting. The meeting resolved to fight for the fundamental rights of people who have become victims of communal riots and demanded that the government formulate a proper rehabilitation policy.

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