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'Muslims trying to snatch property'
September 16, 2003 23:18 IST
Most of the Hindu witnesses of Ahmedabad's Bapunagar area, deposing before the Nanavati Commission, which is probing the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, on Tuesday alleged that Muslims of their neighbourhood were trying to usurp their property.
Muljibhai Patel told the commission, comprising Justice (retd) G T Nanavati and Justice (retd) K G Shah, that he and his family had to shift twice due to violence in their area.
Recurring violence and attacks on Hindus was a clear sign that Muslims were trying to force them to vacate their property and sell them off at throwaway rates.
Jyotsna Patel told the commission that she witnessed the killing of a police constable by a Muslim mob when he was passing by their area on February 28, 2002.
Patel said the policeman was dragged off his motorcycle and burnt alive.
In the first half of Tuesday's deposition, a witness gave details of killings allegedly carried out by an armed Muslim mob led by a Congress party worker and his son.
Another witness, Amratlal Solanki, said a family of three committed suicide recently after its plea to the municipal corporation for compensation for its damaged house was turned down.
He also held the state government responsible for the death of many schedule caste people during the riots.
Taufiq Khan Pathan, Congress councillor from Rakhial who was named by a Hindu witness of having led an armed mob, also deposed before the commission and said that over the years there had been a clear divide between people of both communities over various issues.
He said the toll in the riots could have been much less had police presence been stronger.
Close to 200 witnesses deposed before the commission in separate batches.
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