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Face of Gujarat riots to be rehabilitated

August 06, 2003 23:40 IST

Qutubuddin Ansari, photograph of whose grief stricken face and folded hands came to symbolise the agony of the victims of Gujarat riots, will be rehabilitated in West Bengal this month.

"A secular group has offered him rehabilitation and relocation and we really appreciate this humane move," West Bengal Minorities Development Minister Mohemmed Salim said in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Ansari and his family were facing social harassment and were virtually ostracised by their peers in Ahmedabad for 'portraying Gujarat in bad light', Salim said.

"A single photograph that depicted the miseries of those at the receiving end of the riots made him the favourite punching bag of his neighbours, who made snide remarks and taunted him into leaving Ahmedabad," Salim said.

Ansari fled to Mumbai along with his family and had been staying there for a while when the offer from the West Bengal group was extended.

"He has agreed to it. However, since there are a lot of security concerns and also the question of rehabilitation of a riot victim, we do not want to publicise the matter till Ansari is comfortably settled here," he added.

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