Last year a senior academic from IIT Kanpur was keen to relocate to Gujarat to join the newly set-up IIT in Gandhinagar.
However, he was forced to drop his plan for relocation because he, being a Muslim, could not get a house on rent in predominantly Hindu areas near Chandkheda, where the institute is located.
“A professional from IIT Kanpur had almost finalised joining the new IIT here but since he did not get house, he dropped it. We approached many societies and apartments for a flat or bungalow on rent but they refused to rent it out to a Muslim family,” a top official in IIT Gandhinagar told HT.
“We even proposed to some societies that the institute will take the flat on rent but they bluntly said no Muslim family will be allowed to live in the flat,” the official said. Ghettos were never a new phenomenon in sensitive Ahmedabad. But the riots in 2002 have forced citizens to do away with the last remaining pockets of Hindus and Muslims sharing a neighbourhood.
The exodus triggered by earlier riots had already led to a population explosion in the existing ghettos. Juhapura, for instance, had only about 50,000 residents till the 1992 riots but now has more than 300,000. “I am not at all comfortable living in this ghetto but have no option,” a woman, 40, who teaches in a college and lives in Juhapura, said.