‘State stoking communalism, subverting justice’

Many riot-affected, including Farooq Mapkar, who survived police firing on Hari Masjid in Wadala, claimed that all investigating agencies worked under government pressure

Panelists at a workshop in Mumbai on Wednesday highlighted increasing complicity of state machinery in stoking flames of communalism and subverting justice.

Social activist Harsh Mander told the workshop on denial of justice to riot victims, conducted by Sabrang Trust with St. Xavier's College: "I was recently told by a friend that in today's world if you kill a man behind closed doors there is a greater chance of you being convicted than if you kill hundreds in the open during a riot."

He said mass violence was being perpetrated in the country in connivance with state authorities and through systematic subversion of justice.

Mander said one of the reasons was growing communalisation of the civil services.

"There has been a change in the character of civil services. Earlier, they were elitist but fair now they have become complacent."

Sikh activist Amarjeet Singh Narang backed Mander. He said the state had slowly started becoming a party to denail of justice to riot victims.

Narang said despite only a few convictions in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, the Delhi government went out of its way to recommend release of two convicts.

"1984 started a process of state-supported or -sponsored communal massacres. The state has now also started becoming a party to denial of justice."

Activists also blamed laidback attitude of civil society that tends to forget mass carnage.

"Civil society is very sectoral and its propensity to forget incidents elephantine," John Dayal said.

Many riot-affected, including Farooq Mapkar, who survived police firing on Hari Masjid in Wadala, claimed all investigating agencies, including CBI, worked under government pressure to hide reality.

"We feel of all the wrongs Narendra Modi did, some riot victims in Gujarat got justice. In Maharashtra, the 1993 riot victims got only assurance."

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