Hindu Mobs sink lower than animals

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Muslim News" <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 09:48:54 +0100

For 12-year-old Arif Khan, the horror began when a Hindu mob surrounded his 
family home in the Mehasana district of India's western Gujarat state. 
The crowd began by throwing stones, but it was soon to get much worse. 

"This group stabbed my parents and then burnt them before my eyes," said Arif, 
who managed to escape the onslaught. 

Arif and thousands like him fled their homes in Gujarat in late February as 
gangs of mostly Hindu youths went on the rampage across the state. 

Victims say the police and state officials did little to protect them. Many 
still fear for their lives. 

Anger 

Nearly 800 people, mostly Muslims, died in the violence which erupted after a 
Muslim mob attacked a train carrying Hindu activists, killing 58 people. 

Speaking to the BBC in Delhi, where they have been brought by a 
non-governmental organisation, several of those who fled expressed their anger 
and grief. 

A relative of Arif, Yusuf Khan, lost his wife and two sons in the carnage. He 
has been living in a relief camp ever since. 

"But those who killed my family and burnt down my house go scot-free and no 
efforts are being made by the authorities to arrest them," he said. 

Their testimonies coincide with the release of a report by a leading NGO, 
Communalism Combat, which says it has evidence of government complicity in the 
rioting. 

Much of the violence centred on Ahmedabad, the state's largest city. 

One Ahmedabad resident, Syed Qasim Ali, 62, alleged that some policemen covered 
their faces and beat up Muslim women and children. 

"These policemen abused us and forcibly took many of our belongings away. Are 
we Muslims not citizens of this country? Are we not patriotic enough?" he said. 

Rape 

Accounts are now also emerging of widespread rape of Muslim women during the 
height of the rioting. 

Forty-year-old Jannat, a resident of Jawahar Nagar district in Ahmedabad, said 
police offered no help when the mob turned on a group including several girls. 

"As we were trying to flee from the area, some members of a Hindu right-wing 
group who were present there asked others to take off the clothes of the women 
and rape them," said Jannat. 

She said they raped eight girls, and then set them on fire, burning them to 
death. 

Jannat said the situation has not changed much and Muslims are still living in 
fear in the state. 

Another Ahmedabad resident, Rasul Mian Malik, alleged that some Hindu activists 
were seen inside local police stations during the rioting, proving the 
complicity of the authorities. 

Mr Malik watched helplessly as three family members were burned to death. 

"They were asking for help even as they were being burnt but I could not do 
anything," he said, the tears streaming down his face. 
Source: BBC 


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