Ramesh Tanna in Gujarat
Residents of two villages in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat have stopped drinking water to protest against discrimination in the relief provided to the victims of the Gujarat earthquake.
About 75 people from Maliya-Miyana villages began their fast two weeks ago to protest against discrimination in the disbursement of quake relief.
The two villages are among the scores that were flattened in a devastating quake on January 26 that killed 25,000 and left thousands homeless.
The number of protestors has, however, declined. "Some of us had to go back to the village as anti-social elements have made life miserable for those families who are still there," Umaruddin Sanghvani, who is leading the stir, said.
"These anti-social elements are responsible for the denial of relief to us. They cornered the lion's share," Sanghvani alleged.
The state government stoutly denies charges of discrimination on grounds of region, religion or caste, but this is the second time that the residents of Maliya-Miyana have gone on a fast. They had earlier agitated before the sub-district revenue officer.
"We did receive complaints from the people. But we immediately removed the anomaly in the distribution of relief," Rajkot District Collector P N Patel said.
Patel said the protesters were demanding more than what they were entitled to under the norms laid down by the state government.
Indo-Asian News Service
Gujarat Earthquake: The Complete Coverage
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