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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Gujarat Secular activists and 2002 riot victims arrested for protesting against Modi

From The Hindu


Social activist and dancer Mallika Sarabhai being detained along with some Gujarat riot victims in Ahmedabad ahead of their planned protest against Chief Minister Narendra Modi's Sadbhavana fast, on Sunday.
PTI Social activist and dancer Mallika Sarabhai being detained along with some Gujarat riot victims in Ahmedabad ahead of their planned protest against Chief Minister Narendra Modi's Sadbhavana fast, on Sunday.

At least 25 persons, including activist Mallika Sarabhai, were detained as 2002 Gujarat riot victims were on Sunday barred from protesting against Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s fast for communal harmony.

Post Godhra riot victims of Naroda Patiya area, Mukul Sinha of NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) and Ms. Sarabhai were among 25 people detained when they tried to protest against Mr. Modi’s Sadbhavana fast in Naroda area, police said.

Naroda Patiya, about 8 km from the fast site at Gujarat University Convention hall, had witnessed the worst ever riots incident in 2002, when more than 90 people were killed.


“Police tried to prohibit riot victims meeting at Naroda Patiya by denying permission today,” JSM convener Mr. Sinha told reporters before being detained by the police.

He said that JSM and riot victims of Naroda Patiya would go ahead with their protest despite not getting permission from police.

Police have cordoned off the Naroda Patiya area to stop the riot victims from attending the meeting, Mr. Sinha claimed, adding, “The real face of Modi’s Sadbhavana is now exposed.”

A large number of people, meanwhile gathered at the venue of Modi’s fast for peace, unity and harmony under ‘Sadhbhavna Mission.’

At one point of time, police resorted to baton-charge to control the large crowds which tried to enter the Gujarat University Convention hall here.

While BJP leaders exulted, the riot victims in an open letter to the Chief Minister on Sunday said that, “No amount of power or arrogance gave Midas his glass of water nor will you get your ‘sadbhavana’ with all your developmental publicity.”

“If you were so great a Chief Minister as you claim today, why couldn’t you protect these innocent, helpless Muslims? In fact, why did you fail to protect the innocent 58 passengers of Sabarmati Express who also died in the terrible fire on 27th February, 2002?,” they asked and dismissed the fast as a publicity stunt.

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