In the aftermath of the riots, the struggle for education meant a struggle for jobs among youth in the affected areas.(Amit Dave)
In the aftermath of the riots, the struggle for education meant a struggle for jobs among youth in the affected areas.(Amit Dave)

2002 Gujarat riots: Survivors scarred but look to the future

By Riddhi Doshi, Ahmedabad
UPDATED ON JUN 24, 2016 12:38 PM IST

The 2002 riots are a repressed memory for many of today’s Ahmedabad youngsters. They say they want to look to the future.

Some are pursuing careers in law, others in education. A harmony of sorts has been restored between the Hindus and the Muslims, they add. Wedding invites are once again being extended and neither side wants a repeat of 2002.

But in unspoken ways, the ghosts of the bloodshed remain.

It’s been 14 years since a railway coach full of Hindu pilgrims erupted in flames, sparking three days of rioting in cities across Gujarat. And in the two worst-affected areas -- the Ahmedabad suburb of Naroda Patiya and the Muslim-majority Gulberg housing society -- the scars are still visible.

In Naroda, Muslim families still leave their homes before the annual Navratri and Rath Yatra festivals. “Whenever a large Hindu crowd gathers around our area, we leave with our valuables,” says college student Asif Mansuri, 20. “We go away and live with relatives. We return after the Hindu festivities end. We are all still scared.”

Read: Gulberg massacre: 11 get life term, Zakia Jafri to move HC against sentence

Mansuri is one of five siblings born to an autorickshaw driver. He was six at the time of the riots. “I remember men with swords setting houses on fire,” he says. “We returned after two years of living in relief camps and relatives’ homes.”

His two elder brothers had to drop out of school. “They had to earn for the family. It took us years to make back what we lost. If not for the riots, they too would have studied and had good jobs. Instead they work as labourers at a construction site,” Mansuri says.

To set things right, Mansuri plans to pursue a degree in law. “There is no point getting upset about what happened. It’s in the past. I want to work hard and help my family,” he says. “With a degree, I will earn decent money and also fight for my community’s rights.”

Read: Gulberg massacre verdict out: Here are the key facts about 2002 Gujarat riots

Yamran Qureshi, 20, a college student from Naroda Patiya, doesn’t want to discuss the massacre. “The past is behind us. It’s time to move on,” she says.

But her talk is sprinkled with markers from the past.

Yamran’s family lost their home to the riots. Her father, a printer, worked overtime to settle his family into a new house in another area and educate his children.

“For many years we didn’t buy new clothes during Eid to save money for mine and my brother’s education,” she says. “After I graduate, I want to teach underprivileged children. I don’t want anyone to struggle for an education as we did.”

The struggle for education has meant a struggle for jobs and some say this is where the government could step in and help. “My husband works as a retail salesman, earning just Rs 8,000. After my father-in-law retires from his temporary job at the state transport department in two years, how will we pay our bills,” says 23-year-old Farheen Malik of Naroda village.

“Many children dropped out of school or missed a year or more after the riots,” adds Usman Sheikh, a field officer with NGO Aman Biradri. “Some parents were too afraid to send their children to school, others simply didn’t have any resources left to fund their education. These families also had no time to think of the young ones’ mental well-being. So many have never dealt with the trauma of that period.”

“If Muslims suffered at the hands of Hindus, the latter suffered too,” says Ritudevi Chauhan, 20, a resident of Behrampura, which also saw rioting in 2002. “My mother was beaten by the police. We don’t trust the government machinery but are glad that Muslims and us are friends again.”

2002 riot timeline

On February 27, 2002, a fire gutted a train at the Godhra train station in Gujarat, burning 59 Hindu pilgrims alive.

- As news of the blaze spread, Hindu mobs rampaged through Muslim neighbourhoods in several cities across Gujarat, setting homes, shops and people on fire.

- In the three days of bloodshed that followed, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed; 223 people went missing and 2,500 others were injured.

- The biggest death tolls came from the Ahmedabad suburb of Naroda Patiya and the Muslim-majority Gulberg housing society.

- On February 28, rioters arrived in trucks at Gulberg and set houses ablaze. Residents were dragged out and burnt alive. 69 people were killed, including former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri.

- More than 100 people have been convicted in riots cases in a series of trials over the succeeding 14 years.

- In the most recent such verdict, on June 17, a special court sentenced 11 convicts to life in prison,12 to seven years and another to 10 years in jail in the Gulberg Society massacre case.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
State election commissioner (SEC) Ramesh Kumar rejected the state government’s appeal and announced that he would go ahead with initiating the election process(PTI file photo. Representative image)
State election commissioner (SEC) Ramesh Kumar rejected the state government’s appeal and announced that he would go ahead with initiating the election process(PTI file photo. Representative image)

Local Body elections: Andhra govt, state poll panel at loggerheads

By Srinivasa Rao Apparasu, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:26 AM IST
In the morning, the Supreme Court rejected a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the state government challenging the Thursday’s state high court order giving a green signal to the SEC to go ahead with the local body elections.
Close
Five of the six deceased have been identified, the official said, adding that most of them are from neighbouring Assam.(HT Archives. Representative image)
Five of the six deceased have been identified, the official said, adding that most of them are from neighbouring Assam.(HT Archives. Representative image)

6 killed in illegal Meghalaya coal mine, case filed against employer

By David Laitphlang, Shillong
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:17 AM IST
The accident happened at a mining site the tri-junction of Dienshalalu, Sarkari and Rymbai villages on Thursday night, Deputy Commissioner E Kharmalki.
Close
Party functionaries pointed out that the election to the post of the president will be a by-election because the president will just be seen to be completing the term of the Congress president who took over in 2017 for a five-year term.
Party functionaries pointed out that the election to the post of the president will be a by-election because the president will just be seen to be completing the term of the Congress president who took over in 2017 for a five-year term.

New Congress president’s term could end in 2022

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:14 AM IST
The electorate for Congress president in the by-election are AICC delegates, pointed out two leaders who asked not to be named. “So in June, when the elections are now scheduled, the president will be elected by AICC meeting with the participation of 1500-2000 members.”
Close
Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in an impasse all along the LAC in East Ladakh for the past eight months. The two sides have held eight rounds of talks, but not been able to arrive at a workable mechanism for de-escalation and disengagement.(PTI Photo)
Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in an impasse all along the LAC in East Ladakh for the past eight months. The two sides have held eight rounds of talks, but not been able to arrive at a workable mechanism for de-escalation and disengagement.(PTI Photo)

Indian intel spots Chinese spies along LAC, cautions army to stay alert

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 06:59 AM IST
While the South Block is tight-lipped about the issue, intelligence agencies have been able to spot movement of entities in the Daulet Beg Oldi (DBO) sector near Karakoram, the contested points on banks of Pangong Tso and across the LAC in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Close
The portions of the chat referred by the Congress pertain to the 2019 Pulwama attack and India’s retaliation.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)
The portions of the chat referred by the Congress pertain to the 2019 Pulwama attack and India’s retaliation.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Congress wants JPC to probe Arnab Goswami's WhatsApp chat transcripts

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 06:57 AM IST
The transcripts between the editor-in-chief of Republic TV and the ex-CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) were a part of a Mumbai Police probe into an alleged television ratings scam.
Close
Registered Nurse Khadija Finger cares for an intubated patient in the coronavirus intensive care unit at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in New Braunfels, Texas,(AP)
Registered Nurse Khadija Finger cares for an intubated patient in the coronavirus intensive care unit at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in New Braunfels, Texas,(AP)

LIVE: Hong Kong orders two-day lockdown as Covid-19 cases spike

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 06:54 AM IST
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the new UK strain of coronavirus may be linked to higher mortality. France surpassed 3 million infections amid warnings of a third lockdown.
August 5 was a black day in the history of our country. It destroyed the trust that people of Jammu & Kashmir had placed while choosing to be a part of this country, said Mufti. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)
August 5 was a black day in the history of our country. It destroyed the trust that people of Jammu & Kashmir had placed while choosing to be a part of this country, said Mufti. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)

Follow my father’s ideology... he’d never, ever give up on idea of India: Mufti

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 06:47 AM IST
A former ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mehbooba Mufti, who heads the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), also spent the maximum time under detention before being freed in October 2020.
Close
Parmanand, 100, Indian National Army veteran. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Parmanand, 100, Indian National Army veteran. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

‘Our only goal was to ensure that India became free’

UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:09 AM IST
In April 1940, Parmanand, then 20, joined the First Regiment Army in Gurugram. He was sent to Ambala and further to Karachi for training, and then through the ship, the regiment left for Singapore to fight against Japan in the ongoing World War II.
Close
The Indian representative at the world body, TS Tirumurti, while explaining the country’s position on the resolution, called for objectivity and impartiality in discussions at the UN, without nations taking sides.(HT Representative Photo)
The Indian representative at the world body, TS Tirumurti, while explaining the country’s position on the resolution, called for objectivity and impartiality in discussions at the UN, without nations taking sides.(HT Representative Photo)

India calls out Pakistan on religious freedom

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 06:10 AM IST
The resolution on “promoting a culture of peace and tolerance to safeguard religious sites” was sponsored by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several other members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Close
“Our preparation has been such that the vaccine is fast reaching every corner of the country,” Modi said.(ANI Photo)
“Our preparation has been such that the vaccine is fast reaching every corner of the country,” Modi said.(ANI Photo)

PM Modi talks to health workers to dispel fears over vaccines

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 05:11 AM IST
In an interaction with health workers in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, Modi said the vaccines had been launched after completing all scientific processes of trial and testing.
Close
The farm unions stressed that they would be going ahead with a tractor rally in Delhi on January 26, but said they would do it after India’s Republic Day celebrations and not disrupt the official function.(PTI)
The farm unions stressed that they would be going ahead with a tractor rally in Delhi on January 26, but said they would do it after India’s Republic Day celebrations and not disrupt the official function.(PTI)

Talks break down, govt tells unions it won’t accept demand to repeal laws

By Zia Haq
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 05:08 AM IST
The farmers, who have rigidly called for either a repeal of the laws or nothing, on Friday vowed to intensify their agitation — the biggest the Modi government has faced so far, and one that has seen tens of thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana camping on the Capital’s borders for 57 days.
Close
The Congress called the strike in support of the 12-point charter of demands that included proper health services at the Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) hospital, the state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Agartala and other Covid Care Centres, giving <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>10 lakh to the kin of Covid-19 victims and withdrawal of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s anti-media remark. (Image used for representation).(HT PHOTO.)
The Congress called the strike in support of the 12-point charter of demands that included proper health services at the Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) hospital, the state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Agartala and other Covid Care Centres, giving 10 lakh to the kin of Covid-19 victims and withdrawal of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s anti-media remark. (Image used for representation).(HT PHOTO.)

Congress to elect new president by June

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 05:01 AM IST
The Congress Election Authority (CEA), the party’s panel in charge of the elections, proposed a timeline between May 15 and 30 to hold organisational elections, although some leaders, particularly those in charge of poll-bound states, said this could clash with the assembly elections.
Close
The agency said that the app illegally collected additional unauthorised data of users as well as their friends’ network on Facebook; in all, data of 335 users and their network of 562,000 of their friends were compromised.(File photo)
The agency said that the app illegally collected additional unauthorised data of users as well as their friends’ network on Facebook; in all, data of 335 users and their network of 562,000 of their friends were compromised.(File photo)

CBI books Cambridge Analytica over Facebook data theft

By Neeraj Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 04:52 AM IST
The CBI enquiry revealed that Kogan, founder and director of Global Science Research, created a Facebook app, “thisisyourdigitallife”; the app was authorised to collect certain specific data of the users for academic and research purposes.
Close
Police officers have maintained that no official permission has yet been given to the protesters for the rally since it could create a law and order problem on the Republic Day and trigger traffic chaos.(PTI file photo)
Police officers have maintained that no official permission has yet been given to the protesters for the rally since it could create a law and order problem on the Republic Day and trigger traffic chaos.(PTI file photo)

Police proposes route map for tractor rally, farmers to respond today

By Anvit Srivastava
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 04:27 AM IST
Until Friday night, it was not clear if the police had proposed a route inside the national Capital or on the highways connecting Delhi. Senior police officers are holding talks with the farmers protesting against the three contentious farm laws over their planned tractor rally.
Close
Part of the continuing fascination with Bose is the attraction of the rebel. His dramatic escape from house arrest in Calcutta in 1941 and arrival in Berlin is the stuff of myth.(HT Archives)
Part of the continuing fascination with Bose is the attraction of the rebel. His dramatic escape from house arrest in Calcutta in 1941 and arrival in Berlin is the stuff of myth.(HT Archives)

The patriot who will never die

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:04 AM IST
As West Bengal heads to elections this year, Netaji’s legacy is once again up for grabs. The central government has announced that Netaji’s birth anniversary will be celebrated as Parakram Diwas.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP