The US consul general,Peter Haas,visited a riot rehabilitation colony at Citizen Nagar in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. The colony has maximum residents from Naroda Patia and some from Gulbarg Society,who survived two biggest post-Godhra massacres of 2002,where 167 people were killed.
Haas quoted Martin Luther King Jr to the residents telling them how he fought for human rights against discrimination based on colour. Arc of the moral universe is long,but it bends toward justice, he quoted.
Haas also tweeted a picture of him with the Citizen Nagar residents with a caption,Heard hopes and frustration of people of Citizen Nagar,community of displaced persons outside Ahmedabad.
Citizen Nagar is home to 116 families displaced in the riots. The place lacks most of the facilities such as school,roads,water among others,besides the residents are forced to live in inhuman conditions.
He arrived at around 9:30 am on Wednesday and stayed here for nearly 40 minutes. We showed him how we have been neglected by the state government. He saw the mountain of garbage (dump yard) and the sewer line that runs behind our houses and the unbearable smell that we are cursed to inhale day and night, said Khatun Shaikh,a resident and social activist in the locality.
She said Haas listened to residents and told them that the fighting spirit should not be ceased.
Interestingly,most of the residents had no idea about Haas. When asked I M Shaikh,a resident,said,I dont know his name,but I came to know that he was some General of America. Shaikh said in the last 10 years since he settled down here dozens of such celebrities had visited them but the situation remains the same.
Residents said Haas didnt say anything about the Gujarat riots or Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Recently,US-based Time magazine carried Modi on its cover leading to immense speculation on the country that has denied him a diplomatic visa.
Haas also visited the Sidi Sayed Ki Jaali in Lal Darwaja,the Bhadrakali temple and Adalaj step-well in Gandhinagar,where he also met the Archbishop.