First Step Towards Justice by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam (FEBRUARY 14, 2012)

Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam welcomes Gujarat High Court’s observation regarding "neglect" of duty by Modi government during 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom.

Justice, more often than not, is a process, a work in progress, rather than a one-time, final and fixed category. To people like me, brought up in the Islamic tradition, the final and absolute, irrevocable justice will be delivered on the Day of Judgement (Yomal-Hisaab). Judaism and Christianity too hold the same position.

Keeping that in mind, we welcome the Gujarat High Court’s observation that the Modi government’s lack of proper action led to the long period of “anarchy” in 2002 that led to “the destruction of more than 500 places of religious worship belonging only to the one religious community.” The “one religious community” referred to here is the Muslim community and the places destroyed happened to be mosques and dargahs, even mazaars.

The state government’s plea that it had no policy of compensation for damage to places of worship drew the remark from the Bench that such a policy would encourage victims to take up arms to protect themselves as the state had failed to do its duty.

The court has asked the authorities to file damage claims at district courts where such incidents happened. The order was passed on a PIL filed by the Islamic Relief Committee of Gujarat.

This judicial action has largely restored the confidence of the victimised community in the fairness of Indian judiciary. This is the beginning of justice in Gujarat as far as the 2002 massacres are concerned. Still there is a lot of way to go before most, or enough, cases are addressed and justice delivered.


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