Quiet but tense situation in Dhule
By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,
Patna: Dhule, Maharashtra remained quite today. There were no reports of any violence or rioting today even as the administration relaxed the curfew for three hours.
Violence broke out on October 5, 2008 on the issue of a provocative poster pasted in the area. According to administration 10 people have lost their lives in the violence.
TwoCircles.net talked to Sarfaraz a resident of the area and an ssociate of Movement for Peace and Justice. He said that rioting happened on a large scale and soon spread to the rural areas of Dhule. In the city, displaced Muslims are taking shelter in the National School. Relief camp set up in the school is housing more than two thousand people. People who are taking shelter here are fearful, informed Sarfaraz.
Mahmood Madani looking at the damage done at Dhule [Photo: Aurangabad Times]
He also informed TCN that it is only after the visit of some political leaders and ministers that the police have started to register FIR in the relief Camp. Prominent leaders who visited the riot affected areas are Arun Bhai, the state chief of the Nationalist Congress Party and Anees Ahmad who is a state minister.
Talking about the situation now, Sarfaraz said that it is very tense. He took pains to point out that although the government data shows only 10 persons as killed during and after the riots but the numbers is no less than 40-45 and maybe "much more".
The reason, he pointed out is that the rioting was much worse in the nearby villages where "we can not dare visit because there the Muslims were out rightly eliminated. Their every sign and symbol is it religious economic or social were wiped off the map. There are some areas where they bulldozed the mosques, looted the houses and shops and burnt them. We can not trust the administration because we saw with our eyes how it sided with those who orchestrated the riot. So they won't ever tell how many died and who killed the Muslims in those areas."
He said that he witnessed many incidents of partiality of the administration.
He informed that the Civil Surgeon of the Government hospital clearly said that all those injured and seriously injured who visited private clinics won't be entered in the government account of cases. Pointing out its politics he said that all the public hospitals are in the Hindu dominated areas where the rioters used to identify the Muslims and beat them mercilessly.
So a large section of Muslim resorted to the private clinics run by Muslims or some Trust.
Sarfaraz who is also a doctor who was with his namesake activist of MPJ alleged that the Bohra Society clinic which he visited faced medicine crisis but even after many pleadings from the clinic to the public hospital the Civil Surgeon didn't respond and sent medicines only after two days. He informed that the clinic saw more than 350 people with minor injuries and is still treating 50 people with serious injuries.
He specially highlighted the destructive role played by the vernacular media particularly electronic media. He named Dhule TV which ran the wrong stories of rape of Hindu girls and killing of Hindu people in the Muslim areas to inflame the passions. He said that had the electronic media not run rumors and concocted stories the riot would not have gone this much far.
Yesterday, Rajya Sabha MP Mahmood Madani visited riot affected areas of Dhule and severly criticized the district administration for its anti-Muslim actions. He demanded the State Government to suspend district officials and punish them for failing to protect lives and property. Madani announced that Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind will donate Rs. 5 lakhs for relief of the victims.
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