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IRCG Gurarat Riots Petition: Govt should pay compensation for religious structures demolition, directs High Court

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By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani


Ahmedabad: While hearing a petition filed by Islamic Relief Committee of Gujarat (IRCG) in year 2003, the Gujarat High Court division bench of acting chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J.B. Pardiwala today pulled up the Gujarat government for “inaction and negligence” on its part during the 2002 post-Godhra riots that led to large-scale destruction of religious structures. The court said that when the government had paid compensation for destruction of houses and commercial establishments, it should also pay compensation for religious structures.


The court also ordered that principal judges of 26 districts of the state will receive the applications for compensation of religious structures in their respective districts and decide on it. They have been asked to send their decisions to HC within six months.


IRCG’s petition had sought court’s directions to the government to pay compensation towards damage of religious places during riots on the ground that the National Human Rights Commission, too, had recommended that.


The state government had opposed the IRCG petition, saying it was a violation of article 27 of the Constitution.


The government further said that there was no policy with regards to compensation for restoration/repair of religious places damaged or destroyed during the riots.


Father Cedric Prakash welcomes HC decision


Father Cedric Prakash has welcomed the HC decision. He said, "We welcome the decision of the Gujarat High Court directing the Government of Gujarat to provide compensation and ensure reconstruction for the almost 600 religious structures destroyed during the Gujarat Carnage of 2002. The Hon’ble Divisional Bench with the Acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya has also rightly held the Gujarat Government responsible for their “inaction and negligence to prevent the 2002 riots.”


"This judgement surely comes as a relief for the victims survivors, for those fighting for justice and for all those who cherish the secular fabric and the diversity of our country and wish to preserve it. Hopefully this judgement will lead to exposing the role that many powerful people played in the Carnage of 2002 and ensure the triumph of truth and justice in Gujarat!", he said.


[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]
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