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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 13:41 GMT
Bilal's search for justice
The spot where the mens' jeep was torched
The spot where the jeep was torched

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 1 January, 2004 at 1100 GMT.

February 2002 was a bloody month in Gujarat. Fifty-nine Hindus were killed, and the state witnessed the worst anti-Muslim violence in generations.

It has been estimated that perhaps as many as 2000 Muslims were murdered by Hindu mobs.

Two of them were British-born cousins, Saeed and Shakil Dawood from Batley. They had been attending a family reunion and were slaughtered as they returned from a day out at the Taj Mahal.

One of their childhood friends and the driver of their minibus shared the same fate.

Bilal Dawood is Saeed's younger brother. Days after the murders he visited the scene of the crime and he found the Indian police had failed to collect and collate any evidence.

So Bilal began doing this himself. He sent bones for forensic examination to Hyderabad, and collected two boxes of ashes which he left with Indian relatives for safekeeping. The police finally arrested six people. They were released on bail.

Bilal returned home to the UK and with other members of his family, began to campaign for justice.

In this edition of Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly accompanies Bilal Dawood to India on his first trip back since he lost his brother and cousin.

With him, she visits the place his relatives were murdered, the British and Deputy High Commissioner, and lawyers working to bring the guilty to justice.

Was the carnage politically motivated as human rights activists have claimed? And what chance does Bilal have of seeing those responsible for the deaths of his brother and cousin punished for their crimes?

Producer and presenter: Linda Pressly
Editor: Hugh Levinson



SEE ALSO:
Bilal's return to Gujarat
18 Dec 03 |  Crossing Continents
Linda Pressly: Biography
31 Dec 03 |  Crossing Continents


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