February 8, 2021 11:11:49 pm
AN EYEWITNESS in the 2002 Gulberg massacre case, Imtiaz Khan Pathan, joined the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Monday at Astodia in Ahmedabad. The 43-year-old resident of Gomtipur said he will be campaigning for the party’s candidates in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections, especially for its candidate from the ward.
“I will be campaigning for our Gomtipur candidate. No party has ever thought of us. In AIMIM, we see an educated political front with (Asaduddin) Owaisi sahab being a barrister and even our Ahmedabad cadre full of educated and aware people,” Pathan told The Indian Express.
In 2009, Pathan had deposed before a trial court, submitting that slain Congress former MP Ahsan Jafri had made calls to several top political leaders for rescue during the 2002 massacre but in vain. He claimed to have worked with Jafri when the latter was with the Congress.
“No party has extended any help to us. (Late) Ahmed Patel, who was considered as the tallest leader in Indian National Congress, too, never said anything against the riot culprits or support us… Till this day, we are only stuck getting our drains fixed every third day and have not progressed beyond it. We are still making the rounds of courtrooms to get justice,” he said.
Pathan, who had contested the last Lok Sabha election from Kheda constituency on Apna Desh party ticket and claimed to have won 5,000 votes, said, “Twelve years of Congress (government) gave us nothing, and the BJP clearly says they don’t care about Muslim votes… If not this time, we will win 10 years later. Even the BJP took years, decades before they became what they have.”
A day after the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was burnt near Godhra train station on February 27, 2002, killing 58 ‘karsevaks’, the Gulberg society in Ahmedabad saw a large-scale massacre that left 69 people, including former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri, dead. A trial court in 2020 had convicted 24 of the 66 accused in the case, including a VHP leader.
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