Five years after unprecedented communal violence swept through Gujarat after arson on a train, the search for the truth behind the gory events and justice to the victims is still on — so are the survivors’ attempts to mend their lives.
At 9 a.m. on Feb 27 in 2002, the S-6 coach of the Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Express was set on fire – or, according to a railway ministry inquiry, caught fire – at Godhra, until then for most a little known town 140 km from here. The blaze killed 59 Hindu passengers, a majority of them members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) returning from the temple town of Ayodhya, sparking off one of the worst cases of sectarian strife in the country.
The violence, according to official estimates, left 1,169 Muslims and Hindus dead across the state over the next few weeks. Several activists belive the toll was higher. The city-based Centre for Social Justice, for example, reckons at least 2,000 people were killed, nearly 400 women raped, 563 places of worship destroyed and about 250,000 people were left homeless. The property damage has been estimated at Rs.38 billion (nearly $860 million).
An estimated 5,000 families continue to languish at some 50 makeshift refugee camps, without civic amenities, without employment for the adults and education for children. Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s government continues to face flak over their plight and the simmering communal divide. [from here]
Justice? Indian government? Hah! Sikhs are still waiting over 20 years later. I wish I could write more on this but I’m seriously strapped for time. Any trolling in the posts will be deleted immediately.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: India