Gujarat not a peaceful state, says report

The six communal riots and two mob #lynching recorded in 2019 indicate that the rural areas have been witnessing regular bouts of communal clashes since 2014 when Modi took up the reins of the country, the report said.

By Muslim Mirror Staff

New Delhi: A recently published study has exposed the falsehood of the claim propagated by BJP leaders that Gujarat has been peaceful since 2002, the year when around 2,000 people, mostly Muslims were killed in widespread violence.

The six communal riots and two mob lynching recorded in 2019 indicate that the rural areas have been witnessing regular bouts of communal clashes since 2014 when Modi took up the reins of the country, the 16-page, 2019 annual report just released by an Ahmedabad-based, self-effacing civil society organisation, Buniyaad, said.

The report indicated that the rural areas in Gujarat have regularly been seeing such incidents since 2014. It said that bigger cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat saw major communal conflagrations in 1946, 1969, 1981-82, 1985, 1990, 1992, 2002 and 2006 but in the past few years, rural pockets like Chattral, Vadavli, Khambat, Himmatnagar, Idar, Kheda and Halwad have also experienced such flare-ups of hostilities.

“The State does not publish official figures of communal riots and grossly underreports the instances of mob lynching. The ruling dispensation creates a narrative that Gujarat is a peaceful state with no communal riots after the barbarous clashes in 2002. This falsehood is repeated time and again to create the illusion of communal harmony and peaceful coexistence,” says Buniyaad, a civil society organisation that has been monitoring communal violence in the saffronised state.

The study points out that Hansraj Ahir, Minister of State (MoS), Home Affairs, had himself said in the Lok Sabha in December 2018 that the number of communal incidents in Gujarat was recorded to be at 74, 55, 53 and 50 in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively.“Fewer convictions and overall impunity mean that mobs are fearlessly lynching innocent, vulnerable people,” says Gujarat High Court advocate Shamshad Pathan, whose NGO, the Alp Sankhyank Adhikar Manch, a network of human rights activists and civil society organisations, has provided to Buniyaad its significant findings based on its daredevil, dedicated volunteers’ visits to the troublespots.

“While the number of communal riots is low in the past few years, the number of offences promoting enmity between different groups has increased,” states social activist Ujjaini, and adds that in 2017 and 2018, there is a substantial jump in the number of offences promoting enmity between different groups.

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