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home > Reports > State of Ruins - The Dispossessed at the Vortex of Communal Whirlpool in Gujarat , July 24, 2002

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From Special Correspondent, The Telegraph, July 24, 2002
State of Ruins
The Dispossessed at the Vortex of Communal Whirlpool in Gujarat
A report on present conditions of the victims
Prepared by Gauhar Raza and Shabnam Hashmi
July 24, 2002

Summary of the findings:

The findings presented in this report are based on the survey administered in two districts of Gujarat, namely Panchmahals and Dahod. The survey was conducted in the aftermath of Gujarat genocide. Data was collected in four days, i.e. from 8th to 11th July 2002-07-20

The aim of the study was to collect first hand information about the degree of property damage, extent of compensation given to the victims, attitude of police, attitude of neighbours, caste composition and political affiliations of the attackers, range and nature of weapons used.

More than 3500 family heads were interviewed during four days and after cleaning the data 3261 cases were analysed. This number constituted about 60% of those families who were registered as victims in the relief camps

  • The data analysis has revealed that total loss of immovable property was of the order of Rs. 478 million, however compensation given to the victims adds up to just 5% of the total loss

  • The loss of moveable property that the victim population suffered was of the order of Rs. 27,00,00,000/-. The estimated average loss per family was about Rs. 90244/-.

  • The total losses (extrapolated) for the entire victim population of Dahod and Panchmahals when computed were Rs. 1.248 billion.

  • The compensation figures reveal the insincere efforts being made by the state government agencies in rehabilitating the victims.

  • The objective of the carnage quite clearly, was to fold, firstly, to loot, burn and completely destroy all the shops owned by the Muslims and secondly to force them out of their habitat. Both the targets were efficiently achieved.

  • The data revealed that tribal population was mobilised under the leadership of upper caste (Patels and Rajputs) for attacking the members of the minority community.

  • The attacks were premeditated and well organised. They cannot be construed as a spontaneous reaction to any incident. Organising bands of 1000 to 10,000 attackers requires long duration planning.

  • Large amount of petrol and other inflammable chemicals were made available to the attackers. This cannot happen without connivance of state machinery.

  • The data revealed presence of police in sufficient numbers at the time of the attack.

  • Police, during the carnage, by and large helped attackers instead of saving the life and property of victims.

  • Attitude of the police has not changed during the past five months, it still refuses to accept any complaint that mentions names of the criminals. Close to 50% of all the victims said that the police did not accept their complaint.

  • The victims reported wherever the police officers had tried to control the mobs, they were transferred and then free hand was given to the attackers.

  • 19% of the victims interviewed reported that police had supplied petrol to the attackers.

  • About 80% of the respondents reported that members of VHP. RSS and Bajrang Dal actively participated in the genocide.

  • 84% respondents said that the attacker were wearing Saffron bands on their fore head.

  • 44% of the victims said that still cannot go back to their villages, rest of them expressed that during the day they have started building their houses but cannot take the risk of staying at night.