* Fatma, 45, ran to the hills without footwear and hid there for three days without food and water. This is because mobs burned her house in Randikpur.
* After telling me this, Fatma is quiet, then says out of the blue: "It's a Rs 14 ticket from here [Godhra] to Randikpur."
* Yakub whom I met in a camp says: "We can't go back because they have destroyed our homes and turned the area into a maidan."
* Young girl says, the sarpanch hid us in a field, telling us we'd be protected. Then he went away. When he came back, he brought many people with him to kill us.
* The same girl saw a friend standing in front of her home, saying "My father will definitely come to save us!" Then she was cut down by a mob.
* She starts crying quietly as she tells me of that brief incident, and then she tells me three of her uncles were also killed.
* 22 yr-old Fatma (another Fatma) hid in the fields too. A mob came -- "there were ten people for each one of us" -- to kill them. She was hit by a lathi and a sword, she fell unconscious, they left.
* In Godhra camp alone, at least three different women told me about sarpanches who directed them to fields and then called a mob to attack them.
* Zohra, 23, hid with her husband in a cornfield. A mob set fire to the crop. They got up and ran. The mob caught her husband and killed him. She saw it happen.
* Bilkis of Randikpur had a three year-old child who was "cut and thrown away". Then twelve men raped her. She is pregnant.
* I should point out that I learned about Bilkis from her bua who was with her in camp. Bilkis herself was unable to speak.
Heart rending personal stories...I think this is very difficult argument. At the end of the day this was between Hindus and Muslims. BJP was only a facade and they exploited it to their poitical ends. Such mindless violence certainly didn't start in 2002 and it's not going to stop unless we remove the political aspects of religion and leave it in the safe hands of theologians and mystics.
Liberals and seculars , IMO, are very irresponsible in that they choose to underscore events that suits their contemporary outlook. I have never seen in their discourse the violence suffered by Hindus under Muslim and European hands. Political aspects of Hindu religion should be removed but without duw condemnation, the political aspects of Islam and other Abrhamic religions will remain....and this will stoke more violence like against Pandits in Kashmir. There are no liberal / secular narratives on the exodus of Pandits that matches the vigour of 2002. Why such partiality.
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