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Genocide in Rural Gujarat: The Experience of Dahod District
A report prepared by
Forum Against oppression of Women and Aawaaz-E-Niswaan
Bombay, June 2002
Limkheda (Taluka: Limkheda)
Limkheda village has a majority Hindu population with approximately 50-55 Bohra and 20 other Muslim families. It is generally a trading community; Bohras run textile and other shops and the other Muslims have small shops selling soaps, toothpaste, etc. Some of the Muslims are butchers and most of the young men have auto-rickshaws.
About six to eight weeks before 27th February, a list of all Muslim households and properties was prepared. A VHP leader who is a development officer in LIC, Limkheda had begun instigating people by saying things like, "These Muslims do not allow for the mandir. They should be killed."
On Wednesday 27th February, trouble began in Limkheda. At about 3 pm, one Muslim truck driver was beaten up and a motorcycle of a person of Randhikpur was burnt at the bus stop. Later that afternoon, Muslims in buses were forced to climb down and beaten up. Dupattas of women were torn and they were chanting obscene slogans. At about 7 pm people from the village and neighbouring villages came out onto the streets and started urging shopkeepers to close their shops. A mob of 15-20 people was shouting "Maro! Looto!" and could be heard from inside the houses. After some time, the noise subsided. At about 1 am, some people were sent by truck to Piplod, which has a big basti, because they felt that they could not stay on in Limkheda. Trouble started in Piplod in the morning so after two days they were taken to Panchela village and then on 4th March they were taken to Dahod relief camp.
One Bohra man was murdered in Limkheda on the 28th of February. Ten persons from Limkheda who were escaping to Pandu Gaon in Kalol taluka were killed when they were walking to Pandu village from Derol station. Two children from this family are in Godhra camp. Some other people from Limkheda are now also in Godhra camp, some are with relatives in Dahod and some are in Dahod camp.
Damages and Compensation:
Everything in the houses was looted, including: fridges, cots, fans, electrical fittings, grills, doors, and windows. Ceilings have been damaged and houses have been burnt down since the original looting. Most of the looted items are now in neighbouring houses and police stations. Complaints have been filed but there has been no action on them.
They have put saffron flags in front of the houses and have put a board saying "Jai Shri Ram". The Masjid has also been destroyed and they have written Shri Ram inside. Some press people had come to shoot all this, but the people in the village did not let them shoot. A church in Vakdi village was also destroyed. The priest had been attacked earlier about six months ago.
The first survey was done only four days after the 28th February. At that time things had only been looted. Around the 8th to 10th of March, the houses were also burnt and then destroyed. Though the walls are still standing they will fall any time as the foundations have been fully destroyed. No survey has been done after that. Some families have suffered losses of at least Rs. 15 to 20 lakhs. Now they are staying with relatives in Dahod and have only received only Rs.12,000 compensation and no cash dole.
In Limkheda, one HLL agency suffered a loss of 50 - 60 lakhs. Though everyone has made compensation claims, not many have received compensation at all. The taluka officials are completely unresponsive and make people run here and there. A meeting with the Mamlatdaar and others was held. They told the Muslims that "you have to live here so forget all that happened and don't register any complaints with names."