March 04, 2007
Indian Muslim Council-USA ( IMC -USA), an advocacy group dedicated towards safeguarding India ‘s pluralist and tolerant ethos calls for justice for the victims on the fifth anniversary of massacres and expresses its solidarity with the people of who are fighting for justice under the fascist regime.
Human Rights observers in India have documented that in 2002, Hindu nationalists in embarked on a brutal massacre of over 2,000 persons, rapes of hundreds of Muslim women and the systematic decimation of the socio-economic infrastructure of Muslims running into billions of rupees. Hundreds of Muslim religious monuments were also destroyed. Substantially all organs of the Gujarat state government led by the Hindu nationalists were involved in orchestrating these pogroms.
Recent reports reveal that close to 10,000 families are still living in 80 make-shift relief camps, not recognized by the state government and without any basic civic amenities. Out of the 4,000 police reports that were filed in the aftermath of violence 5 years ago, only a handful of culprits have been brought to justice so far and most police complaints were summarily dismissed without investigation. In contrast, the state police have adopted a policy of victimizing the victim by making hundreds of arbitrary arrests of Muslims under the draconian POTA law that provides no legal recourse to the accused.
IMC-USA demands that Government of India establish a high level independent commission that includes members from all walks of life including representatives of Dalit, Christian, Hindu and Muslim victims to investigate the pogroms and bring the perpetrators of these ghastly crimes to justice. This commission should also provide succor to its victims of grotesque violence that was unleashed with the complicity of the highest level of authorities in the State of Gujarat . The continued inaction from the Government to remedy the injustice would appear as an appeasement to the soft-Hindutva sentiments of some in the state bureaucracy.
As an emerging power on the world stage, India cannot overlook abuses of basic human rights on its own citizens and expects to lead the nation with the moral authority that will be scrutinized with each step of Indian prominence and leadership. India must not miss the opportunity to regain its moral authority by going through a process similar to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission to overcome this dark chapter of our nation’s history.
Syed Ali Rahman
Email: info@imc-usa. org
Five years after and the pogrom By Dionne Bunsha
http://www.hindu. com/2007/ 02/28/stories/ 2007022802811000 .htm