Teesta held in Godhra,allowed to move around under security cover

Gujarat Police on Friday detained activist Teesta Setalvad and others on the outskirts of Godhra because “she had not taken permission” to visit the riot-affected areas.

Written by Express News Service | Vadodara | Published:February 28, 2009 2:31 am

Gujarat Police on Friday detained activist Teesta Setalvad and others on the outskirts of Godhra because “she had not taken permission” to visit the riot-affected areas.

Later,she was allowed to move around under high police security. Teesta visited Godhra to commemorate the 2002 riots.

Seven years down the line,she said,the condition is complex. “A survey of 18,000 households carried out by the NGO,Citizens for Justice and Peace,shows that no compensation has yet been given to 25 per cent of the victims whose houses were destroyed during the post-Godhra riots,” she said.

She later visited Pandharwada and Odh areas. When asked why she chose February 27 instead of February 28,she said,“The entire week will be dedicated to commemorate the 2002 riots.” Beginning with silent prayers and lighting of candles at Godhra railway station,homage was paid to the victims of massacres at Pandharwada,Kidiad,Eral,Anjanwa,Randhikpur and Odh areas. Teesta said she will visit Ahmedabad on Saturday to pay homage to the victims of the Naroda Gam,Naroda Patiya and the Gulbarg Society massacres.

“This ‘travelling memorial’ will bring together all those who are awaiting justice,” she said. Asked about the difference in the lives of the people in the last seven years,she said,“Life limps back after tragedies,but healing and forgiveness come with acknowledgement and justice.”

She added: “The remains of the dead at Pandharwada and Odh have not yet been given a dignified burial and unfortunately there has been no remorse expressed by the state authorities who were responsible for failing to prevent the violence.”

At Pandharwada,Teesta met family members of the victims and the survivors of the riots. One Mehraj Banu,a victim,said,“We have been living in a tent for the last seven years. We have received only Rs 10,000 as compensation so far.”

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