People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 31, 2006
GUJARAT RIOT VICTIMS COMPLAIN
UPA Govt Remained Silent Spectator
On December 20, Hannan Mollah, Member of Parliament, sent the following letter to the prime minister regarding the public hearing of what Gujarat riot victims had to say.
I ATTENDED a pubic hearing of Gujarat riot victims today (December 20) at India Social Institute, New Delhi, which was attended by over 80 riot victims in front of many dignitaries. For me it was a heart rending and painful experience and I felt ashamed that we could not do anything for those unfortunate victims of genocide, even after five years passed.
They were explaining how their near and dear ones were butchered in front of them, and their agony of survival since then. They wished they would better die than live such an inhuman life for five years, in the situation of total neglect, humiliation and harassment.
The Gujarat government has been proved to be the enemy of the minorities and deliberately failed to rehabilitate those riot victims. Thousands of them are still living in dire helplessness, hopelessness and frustration.
They expected that after the change of government in Delhi, they might get some human treatment but, after two and a half years of the UPA government, they felt betrayed. They expected the UPA government would try to unearth the truth by some genuine enquiry but it was not done. They expected that the UPA government would make some direct plan for their rehabilitation but it was not done. They expected that the UPA government would give them proper legal assistance and save them from harassment, but it was not done. They expected that the UPA government would try to find out the real culprits and bring them to book, but it was not done. They expected that UPA government would take some action against the uncivilised, barbaric and fascist state government, but nothing was done. They expected that the secular forces of the country and their secular government would come to the support of the victims and make it a major issue in the country, but that was not done, or rather they played a meek role vis-à-vis the communal forces. Even when the National Human Rights Commission concluded that “there was a comprehensive failure of the state government to protect the constitutional rights of the people of Gujarat,” the central government remain a silent spectator.
You may have received the report from the MPs from all secular parties who recently visited the riot affected areas in Gujarat and met hundreds of victims there. They also found how the rehabilitation work was totally neglected and the inhuman condition in which the victims are still living. The team has recommended certain measures to be taken up by the central government. There was hope that the government was considering to give a package to the Gujarat riot victims on the line of those given to the 1984 Delhi riot victims. But its denial has created severe frustration among those unfortunate suffers.
Those unfortunate people, who have come to Delhi for this public hearing raised all these issues with the hope that the UPA government and secular forces would pay heed to their cry and initiate some positive, time bound action programme so that their days of nightmare are over.
I would request you to kindly pay personal attention to their problems and take earnest initiative to fulfil the demands of the Gujarat riot victims as well as the demands the MPs team submitted to you.
The following specific demands raised by the victims to be taken up and implemented sincerely:
Immediate compensation to the tune of what has been given to the 1984 Delhi riot victims and payment directly to the victims by the central government through a central agency.
Buildings and infrastructure to be constructed by an agency like HUDCO under central supervision.
Special survey of the conditions of victims by the National Minority Commission.
Proper inquiry of the genocide by a central agency like the CBI.
Ensure all constitutional rights of the victims and provide legal assistance in the court.
To check such incidents in future, a central act should be enacted keeping the Gujarat victims’ plight in mind.
Land of victims snatched by criminals and communal forces to be recovered and given back to the victims.
Identify the criminals and officials involved in the crimes and arrange for their punishment.
Women victims should be adequately and properly compensated and assistance given to re-establish them in the society. (INN)