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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June, 2005, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Riot lawsuit against Hindu groups
Gujarat riots
The Gujarat riots of 2002 left at least 1,000 people dead
The families of Muslims killed in an attack during the 2002 Gujarat riots have filed lawsuits against Hindu nationalist organisations.

They are seeking almost 70 million rupees ($1.6m) in damages.

Among those groups named in the lawsuit is the Bharatiya Janata Party, which governs Gujarat.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslim, were killed in the Gujarat violence, although independent groups have placed the figure closer to 2,000.

The lawsuit refers to an attack on a housing society in Gujarat's commercial capital, Ahmedabad, in which 39 people were killed.

One of those killed was a former Member of Parliament, Ehsan Jaffrey.

His widow is among 21 petitioners who have filed lawsuits against the BJP as well as the Hindu nationalist Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (National Volunteers Corps).

Zakia Jaffrey says a protest called by the Hindu nationalist organisations had resulted in the destruction of her house and other property.

She said she was only seeking compensation for damage to her property as " loss of human life cannot be priced".

No justice

The Gujarat riots were sparked off by an attack on a train in the Gujarati town of Godhra. The train caught fire and 59 Hindu pilgrims on board were killed.

A Muslim mob is alleged to have carried out that attack although no one has been charged as yet.

Three years after the riots, no one has been brought to justice over the violence.

Several cases which collapsed after witnesses retracted their evidence have later been reopened.

Human rights groups say the authorities failed to take measures to prevent retribution against Muslims, a charge the state government denies.




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