Gujarat ordered to compensate riot victims made homeless


Gandhinagar : The Gujarat High Court Friday ordered the state government to compensate and rehabilitate the victims of the 2002 riots as well as other families whose houses were demolished by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in 2009.

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A division bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi ordered the state government to pay Rs.5,000 to each of the 45 identified families and rehabilitate them by allotting them a plot of land within one week.

Counsel for the petitioners, Amit Panchal, submitted before the court that some of the victims of the 2002 riots were rehabilitated by an NGO which undertook the reconstruction of an entire Siyasat Nagar Colony, near Chandola Talav in Ahmedabad. A total of 172 houses were constructed in the colony by voluntary agencies at a cost of Rs.30 lakh.

However, the whole colony, a madarsa and a school were demolished by the municipal corporation November 3, 2009, without giving any notices to the occupants, and leaving them homeless.

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi submitted that the state government had decided to rehabilitate families except those who were identified as foreign nationals (Bangladeshis).

The court ordered the authorities to file an affidavit as to how many people have been identified as Indian nationals and how many were foreign nationals. The authorities had identified 45 families as Indian nationals.