5,000 Killed, 50,000 Homeless in India 'Pogrom'

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 05:49:21 -0000

5,000 Killed, 50,000 Homeless in India 'Pogrom' 
Former Indian Navy Chief Demands Ban on Extremists, Dismissal of Chief
Minister 

An independent reporters group claims 5,000 Muslims killed, 50,000 made
homeless, hundreds of mosques, and dozens of hotels, shops, and villages
destroyed during riots in the Indian province of Gujrat. 

Former Chief of the Indian Navy, L. Ramdas, in an open letter to the
Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, has condemned the
anti-Muslim violence in India describing it as genocide and a "pogrom."
Mr. Ramdas demanded that the Chief Minister of Gujrat be dismissed for
his involvement in the anti-Muslim riots, and a ban on "extremist
rightwing organizations like the VHP, Bajrang Dal, and the RSS." 

"Clearly this appears to be the culmination of a planned series of
attacks on our minority communities by the extremists within the Sangh
Parivar," wrote Mr. Ramdas. "The entire list is too long to cite here,
but to name only a few, the past decade has witnessed the destruction of
the Babri Masjid in 1992, which led to the Mumbai bomb blasts and the
subsequent massacre of innocent Muslims; the burning alive of Father
Staines and his sons in Orissa; and the attacks on Christians and their
places of worship in Gujrat and elsewhere." 

Hindu extremeists, armed with swords and rifles, are reported to have
"exploded houses and mosques" with LPG and oxygen cylinders, and are
reported to have been supplied with trucks loaded with gasoline and gas
cylinders. They are also reported to have been paid Rs 500 ($12.50) per
day, and provided food, water, wine, and medical aid. If arrested, their
legal expenses were to be covered by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and if
they were killed, it is reported, their families would be given Rs
200,000 ($5,000). 

Based on "actual field surveys and counts in the state of Gujrat," the
independent reporters group estimates the toll of death and destruction
as 
follows: 

- More than 5000 dead, 40 to 50 thousand homeless in 25 relief camps,
including 72 people burned inside their homes in Gulmarg society, 29
people killed in Mehsana village, 46 people killed and burned in a truck
on Lunawada highway, 18 people burned in the "Best Bakery" in Baroda,
350 Muslim dead thrown in a well near Naroda Patiya, young girls and
women molested and raped before burning. 

- Mosques destroyed: 12 in Baroda, 10 in Ahmedabad, all in the villages
affected by riots, and several converted into Hindu temples. 

- Completely burned areas of Ahmedabad: Ansar Nagar, Chamanpura, Nutan
Mill, Gulmarg Society, Maryambibi's Chawl, Barasancha's Chawl, Darji's
Chawl, Anupam Cinema's area, Lent Wada, Pannalal's Chawl, Niranjan's
Chawl, Jhalampura's Chawl, three societies of Vatwa, three societies of
Narol, Guptangar (Juhapura), Naroda Patiya, Mai Fatehshah (Shahpur),
Premdarwaja. 

- All the property of small Muslim villages, approximately 200 hotels,
two cloth markets (Nawa Bazar and Mangal Bazar with 163 shops) were
destroyed. 

"The entire nation is shocked at the callousness and inefficiency
displayed by the law and order machinery of the Government of Gujarat,"
said Mr. Ramdas, "which not only failed to perform its duty to its
citizens, but also stood by and in several cases actually incited what
can best be described as a 'pogrom'. Compare this to the scene indelibly
imprinted on my mind, when I saw Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of
India, hop out of an official car and chase away looters and rioters,
who were killing Muslims and looting their properties in Connaught Place
in August 1947." 

Source:  The Wisdom Fund

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