Home > News > The Gujarat Riots > Report
Muslims welcome SC order on Gujarat
Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi |
August 17, 2004 14:54 IST
Last Updated: August 17, 2004 15:06 IST
Prominent Muslim groups and individuals on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court order asking the Gujarat government to reopen 2,000-odd riot cases.
Out of the 4,200-odd cases of violence and sexual assault lodged in Gujarat, the police had closed around 2,000 cases saying the culprits could not be traced.
Discuss the SC order
Abdul Hameed Nomani, spokesman, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, said: "It is a good decision. We welcome the Supreme Court order. We hope that the victims will get justice and the culprits will be brought to book."
Jamiat has built 1,000 homes for people who lost their homes during the violence in Gujarat in February-March 2002.
The Supreme Court had earlier shifted two important cases -- the Best Bakery and the Bilkis Banu gang-rape -- out of Gujarat. The order was on the plea that the accused and the police harassed the witnesses and the victims.
Nomani said: "The police tried its best to save the culprits by closing the cases. But the court said no. Open the cases and investigate it again. It is a great decision."
S Q R Ilyas, spokesman, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said: "It is an extraordinary order. People were losing faith in judiciary. This order will restore confidence in the victims and the minorities in general."
But the community leaders said it was unlikely that the victims would get justice.
"The same police will investigate these cases. So it is unlikely that they [police] will let anything go against them. We all know the role that the police played during and after the riots. That is why two cases were earlier transferred out of Gujarat," said Ilyas.
"Still this order will act as a deterrence. The message is clear: nobody is above law in this country."
The court has ordered the director general of police of Gujarat to report every three months regarding the progress of the cases.
Nomani said: "Monitoring is necessary. If the court monitors the progress regularly then we hope that justice would be done."
Shafi Monis, vice-president, Jamat-e-Islami, said: "This country is ruled by law. And nobody can play with it. If the Supreme Court takes interest in these cases in future also then it will give a good signal."
Freelance writer Andalib Akhter said: "The Supreme Court is setting a good trend. People should learn a lesson that you can not take everything for granted."