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Gujarat riots: Rs 300,000 damage, but Rs 100 compensation
August 22, 2003 20:41 IST
Lack of adequate compensation was the key complaint of most riot victims of Shahpur and Madhavpura areas, who deposed before the two-member panel probing the post-Godhra communal violence with a lady displaying a cheque of Rs 100 given as compensation for house damage.
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The statement of Mehrunissa Sheikh, a resident of Mehendi Kuva area of Madhavpura and the photocopy of the compensation cheque given for damages incurred to her house after a mob attack, shocked the Commission members headed by Justice (retd) G T Nanavati and Justice (retd) K G Shah.
Reacting to the paltry compensation Justice Shah said, "Sharam aani chahiye lene wala ko aur dene wale ko (the compensation was a shame for those who got it and those who gave it)."
Mehrunissa also told the commission that a government official had surveyed her house and said that damages were worth at least Rs 300,000.
Another riot victim, Moyinuddin Sayed from Mirzapur named three policemen of Shahpur police station for randomly opening fire in their area on April 22 last year during the communal frenzy.
He also told the probe panel that in spite of giving a written complaint and also naming the three policemen no action was taken against them while he was arrested.
Sayed said that his son-in-law Usman was killed in the police firing and his friend Iqbal received a bullet injury in the stomach but survived.
He said there was no violence in his locality till April 16 and the incident took place only after Assistant Sub Inspector Bahadur Singh was stationed at Shahpur police station.
He also named two police officials, Kishan and Raghu, who allegedly accompanied Singh during the 'shooting spree'.
ASI Singh has been named by another riot victim of Karanj area earlier also in a similar offence.
Rafiq Ahmed Master, resident of Shahpur and a petrol pump owner in Madhavpura area said that on February 28 during a VHP-sponsored bandh to protest the Sabarmati Express carnage, a mob looted fuel from his pump and even threatened the attendants.
"For the next week the city was under curfew and later when I went to the pump it was all destroyed but managed to start it again soon," he said.
After two more attacks on the petrol pump on March 18 and April 4 and fuel loot by the mob, Master said he sought a police post, which was set up near his pump.
Around 106 victims/witnesses deposed before the commission in 16 batches on Friday.
The commission would record statements of crucial Naroda Patiya massacre on August 26 and 27 where 86 people were killed during the communal frenzy, while that of Meghaninagar area victims including the Gulbarg Society, where more than 39 people were killed, would be taken up on the last day of third phase hearing on August 29.