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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Plight of Gujarat riot victims shocks UN rapporteurs




Plight of Gujarat riot victims shocks UN rapporteurs http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/report_plight-of-gujarat-riot-victims-shocks-un-rapporteurs_1667255 Sunday, Mar 25, 2012, 17:12 IST, By Roxy Gagdekar Ahmedabad: DNA

At a time when the world is witnessing the rise of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, two women in the team of United Nations Special Rapporteur Christof Hynes were crying while Hynes himself was shocked to see the alleged violation of human rights in the state. The team was shown the accusations against Modi in the 2002 riots and the encounter cases. At the end of the presentation, Hynes said was that he was now in a position to put forward the cases of violation of human rights in the state at the international level.

Modi is at the centre of many accusations about extra-judicial deaths in the state. A woman, who is one of the key witnesses in the Gulbarg massacre, said that the police refused to consider her as a witness in the Gulberg massacre, even though she was present in Ehsan Jafri's house and saw him calling up the CM and begging for help again and again.

Talking to DNA, activist Shabnam Hazmi highlighted the state's role, especially the CM's, when no prosecution has happened for a decade; the custodial deaths and the arrogance that prevails in Gujarat, in an almost three-hour presentation.

Hazmi also said that the UN has asked for permission from the central government to visit a few states in connection with the violation of human rights and Gujarat is one such state. The others are Kashmir, Assam, Delhi and Kerala. The violation of Dalit rights and custodial deaths of tribals were also reported to the rapporteur, giving him an idea about the violation of human rights besides the riot related cases."I have presented three different cases of deaths of the tribals either in police encounters or in police custody," Roomaal Dhrangi, a tribal rights activist told DNA.

Cases of Dalit atrocities and custodial deaths of the Dalits were presented by Dalit and tribal rights activist Manjula Pradeep to the rapporteur. Other sources said that the UN team went back with shocking revelations which they otherwise would never have witnessed. Advocate Mukul Sinha presented the overview of the encounters, while Rauf Lala and Shamima Kausar presented the case of Ishrat Jahan. Advocate Anand Yagnik presented the details of Samir Khan Pathan's encounter.

The presentation was followed by an informal meeting with some civil rights activists and others at a dinner. The informal meeting of Hynes with civil rights activists and others focused on the killing through encounters in the state.

Apart from that, details of the 2005 communal riots of Vadodara and 2008 riots during Ganesh Visarjan in Vadodara, were also presented.