The other side of the Gujarat riots

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 March, 2004, 12:00am

I am disappointed at the bias of 'Finally, justice is a prospect for Gujarat riot victims' (February 29).

A significant part of Hong Kong's Indian community hails from Gujarat and we are concerned about such negative reporting. Let's get the facts straight:

The immediate cause of the Gujarat riots was the attack on and burning of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims by a 2,000-strong Muslim mob in Godhra, Gujarat on February 27, 2002. Fifty-nine Hindus were killed.

The riots were a direct reaction to that carnage. Hindus were affected too. A Post photo on May 16, 2002 showed a woman and her child weeping after Muslims burned their home.

Why the hue and cry over Gujarat problems? Because oppositionists and Marxists try to take advantage any time the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be in trouble. They called for an exam boycott at the height of the problems but it failed. Production was uninterrupted in all big industrial units and General Motors even invested US$700 million in its Gujarat car plant.

The riots were over within four months. But people with vested interests have been trying unsuccessfully to keep the issue alive. Your article mentions the Best Bakery case, reopened by the Supreme Court. But it does not mention that last month, the High Court dismissed the case, acquitting all 21 accused. The court said 'there seems to be a definite conspiracy to malign people by misusing Zaheera Sheikh' (the witness in your article).

The article says 'most Muslims are dying to migrate'. This is a lie. Almost no Muslims have fled or migrated from Gujarat. Compare this with the plight of Kashmiri Hindus - 300,000 left behind everything after many were killed, women were raped and temples destroyed.