22 February 2018

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03/23/2007 INDIA

Hindu fundamentalists slam plan to pay additional compensation to victims of Gujarat riots

India’s central government wants to provide additional aid to victims of the 2002 Gujarat massacre, but the decision draws sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party which accuses the government of trying to buy Muslim votes in an upcoming state election.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – A plan by India’s federal government to compensate victims of the 2002 massacres in Gujarat has drawn sharp criticism. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the central government of playing politics ahead of elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Five years after sectarian violence left thousands dead, New Delhi has decided to compensate victims’ families on top of what the state government has already paid out.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government wants to give 350,000 rupees to each next of kin of those killed, Information Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters. Beneficiaries include claimants not included by the state government in its own victims list.

In addition to financial aid, people who lost parents will be given priority in public sector employment, whilst those who lost their job will be helped in finding a new one or will receive a pension.

But for the BJP the government is just trying to curry favour with Muslims in view of elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh next November.

In today’s session of the Gujarat legislature, members of the ruling BJP caused havoc forcing Speaker Mangal das Patel to adjourn for 15 minutes, then suspend the assembly till recess.

BJP members engaged in filibustering claiming that compensation will only benefit Muslims. Instead, they want victims from the attack against the Akshardham Temple to be compensated as well.

Sectarian clashes between Muslims and Hindus occurred in 1992 when the latter stormed and demolished the Babri mosque, alleging it was built on top of god Rama’s birthplace, in order to build a Hindu temple.

Since then tensions have been running high until February 27, 2002, when they turned violent. A train that had stopped in Godhra caught fire with 59 passengers dying in the flames. Hindu fundamentalists blamed the state’s Muslims for the incident. In the ensuing clashes 1,169 people were killed according to the official tally, mostly Muslim.

The state government, which was also run by the BJP at the time, was severely criticised for failing to properly deal with the rioters and render justice to the victims.

See also

23/05/2008 INDIA
Delhi to pay compensation for thousands of Muslim killed or wounded
In 2002 Hindus went on a rampage in Gujarat, killing and wounding thousands of Muslims under the indifferent eyes of the nationalist-led state government. New Delhi announces a US$ 80 million compensation deal. For experts it is an attempt to secure votes ahead of the 2009 elections whose outcome remains uncertain.

25/11/2009 INDIA
BJP leaders blamed for the destruction of the Ayodhya mosque
The investigation by Justice Liberhan points the finger at L K Advani, M M Joshi and former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee for their complicity with Hindu extremists in the demolition of the mosque in 1992. Disorders that followed the destruction led to the death of more than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims.

10/10/2017 10:13:00 INDIA
Uttar Pradesh’s nationalist government to build a ‘grand statue’ of Ram in Ayodhya

The project forsees a 100 meter-high monument on the banks of the Saryu River. It will cost around 25,5 million euros. The Chief Minister wants to boost religious tourism to Hindu worship sites in the State. The city of Ayodhya is the scene of a long disputes between Hindu and Muslim believers.

09/06/2015 INDIA
Neither temple nor mosque but a futuristic museum dedicated to Rama
India’s Tourism minister announced that the museum would not be built on the site claimed by both Muslims and Hindus. However, Hindu nationalist BJP lawmakers have pledged to build a grand temple. In 1992, Sangh Parivar radicals razed to the ground the ancient Babri Mosque and built a temple dedicated to Rama.

16/04/2014 INDIA
Narendra Modi's right hand man stopped for inciting hatred against Muslims
Election Commission bars Amit Shah from any meeting or election speech in Uttar Pradesh. In early April, he had asked people not to vote for Muslim candidates because Muslims had raped, killed and humiliated Hindus. Modi, an ultra-nationalist Hindu, has been blamed in connection with the 2002 communal massacres in Gujarat, when almost a thousand Muslims were killed.

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