Justice for riot victims still a far cry

Every year on that day, though shattered by the horrible memories of that fateful day, she returns to her burnt-out home.

 On Monday, it was no anniversary of the Gujarat riots, but Roopa along with relatives of 69 people, who were massacred during the riot, visited the area to send across a message that Modi’s Sadhbhavna  (goodwill) mission meant very little to them. There were no slogans, no protest demonstration. All the victims assembled there recited verses from the Quran.

“If there is anything missing in the chief minister’s event, it is  Sadhbhavana. There has been no attempt in the last 10 years to reach out to the victims,” says Roopa, fighting her tears.

And as Modi broke his fast amidst galaxy of politicians, film stars and religious gurus, at the other end of the city in Gulbarg Society, there was pall of gloom as the victims moved around their damaged homes remembering their loved ones.

“We haven’t got justice till date. The least the government could have done is visiting the families of the riot victims. The compassion has been missing since last decade. He is now talking about sadhbhavana just for political gains,’’ said Imtiaz Pathan who lost 11 members of his family in the carnage.

The victims later held a special prayer at a small mosque there.  “We have to keep it open. Our prayers are the only thing which keep us going. The politics outside gives us nothing but pain,” says Mansuri Bhai who takes care of the mosque.

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