Naroda Patiya residents express dread and nervousness ahead of voting

December 10th, 2007 - 7:34 pm ICT by admin  

By Ravishankar
Ahmedabad, Dec.10 (ANI): A sense of despair and unease prevails over Naroda-Patiya, which lies on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
Battered by the worst-ever communal riots five years ago, its residents still do not see a ray of hope from any political party — be it the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the opposition Congress party, or any other.
Residents say they live in great fear, believing that the elections will unleash another round of terror by communal forces.
Our young daughters and daughters-in-law are very scared and, they have asked me to shift them from here as they are wary of their safety. they question why each time they have to pay such prices and ask whether they are not the rightful residents of India? said Julekha Bano, a resident of Naroda-Patiya where at least 86 people were massacred and their bodies burnt on the Gujarat Bandh day on February 28, 2002.
They say they will not vote for the BJP, that is for sure, but whether they will vote for the Congress on December 16 is a matter still undecided.
“We are very scared, but we will vote, vote for the change,” says Nurjehan Bano, who lost her daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons during the riots in 2002.
Some of the residents of Naroda-Patiya have returned to their homes after the state government closed down the relief camp, but many others are still haunted by the carnage that they witnessed and want a change of guard in the state.
We dont want such a government my son was burnt alive .I dont want this government or any other either, said Mariyam Bibi, a riot victim.
Residents lament about the civic woes, a long pending demand that the BJP had promised to solve.
The locality, which is dominated by the minority community, is still living in sub-human conditions.
We dont have water. Everyday we have to travel two to three kilometers to fetch water. There is no power, where will the poor get lights from? asked Husaina Aapa
Most of the victims are still to receive the promised compensation from the government for the loss that they suffered in the riots.
Aware that the Muslim votes will not go to the BJP, they doubt whether activists of the VHP or the Bajrang Dal would allow them to participate in the voting process.
They are equally unsure whether the Congress will provide them the necessary security to enable them to vote.
They have no confidence in the state police either. (ANI)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in National |