01, Jan 2007
In its report titled “India: Five years on – the bitter and uphill struggle for Justice in Gujarat” Amnesty International has made some pertinent observations:
The direct victims of that violence and their relatives continue to face serious challenges and obstacles in securing justice.
The plight of those internally displaced from their homes as a result of the violence is a continuing one. As many as 5,000 families are living in “relief colonies” without basic amenities or official recognition from the Government of Gujarat. The Government of Gujarat however continues to assert that all those displaced as a result of the violence have been rehabilitated.
There is an ongoing practice of social and economic boycotting of Muslim communities in the state.
Amnesty International believes that, five years on, the Government of Gujarat remains unrepentant for its failings to protect the Muslim minority and to ensure that victims obtain justice, truth and reparations.
In 2005, Amnesty International’s report on Gujarat noted how before but particularly after the communal violence in 2002, leaflets circulated by the ruling BJP in collaboration with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) called for a systematic economic boycott of Muslims. The leaflets circulated by the BJP and VHP urged Hindus not to buy from Muslims or to sell to them, not to use their services of any kind, not to employ them or be employed by them, with the clearly expressed objective to drive them from the state.
Amnesty International remains concerned that the Gujarat government has failed to provide full or, in most instances, any, reparations to victims and their families, including restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition, in accordance with international standards.
Amnesty International urges the Government of India to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The Optional Protocol provides for individual petitions and for inquiries into systematic violations of the Convention, affording an international remedy for women who have suffered human rights abuses.