Shocking reversals in the struggle for justice mark Gujarat pogroms anniversary
A season of “clean chits” for the guilty and hounding of activists since the coming to power of Hindu supremacists
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2015
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has marked the 13th anniversary of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002, by pledging to continue the struggle for justice, regardless of the passage of time and the vicissitudes in the electoral fortunes of the masterminds behind the genocide. IAMC has expressed its dismay over the brazen mockery of justice in cases related to the pogroms, since the new government came to power in May 2014.
The Gujarat pogroms of 2002 represent the most horrific case of mass targeted violence against a specific religious community in independent India. In systematic and organized attacks against Muslims, over 2,000 people were massacred and over 150,000 were displaced and rendered homeless. The genocide was accompanied by brutal forms of sexual violence against hundreds of women.
In several high-profile cases, the perpetrators have either been acquitted by the infamous and compromised Special Investigations Team (SIT), or granted bail after having been convicted. In parallel, activists such as Teesta Setalvad, who demonstrated exemplary courage in pursuing justice for the victims, are being hounded by the police and subject to harassment by the state under trumped-up charges.
Last Friday, six people accused in the barbaric killing of three British citizens during the Gujarat massacres were acquitted by the court for “lack of evidence.” The three Britons were Saeed and Shakil Dawood and Mohammad Aswat. They were burned alive near Prantij town of Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district.
“The denial of justice for the victims of the Gujarat pogroms compounds the enormity of the crimes committed against them in 2002,” stated Mr. Umar Malick, President of IAMC. “The BJP government has continued in the tradition of the Gujarat government, of shielding the guilty and harassing those that are striving to bring them to justice,” added Mr. Malick.
Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation.