Bhopal: Life is too valuable to be lost over communal hatred: Riot survivors

BHOPAL: For the riot survivors, human life is far too important to be lost over communal hatred spread by people who thrive on it. Whatever the Supreme Court (SC) verdict is, we have to stay together and let the vicious plan of rumour mongers to succeed in destabilizing the communal harmony in society, is what the families who saw the communal frenzy 27 years back firmly believe.

Many of the people have lost their beloved ones and property during riots that broke out following the demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya, 27 years ago. People have come out of grief and even though pain persists they have no ill feeling towards against anyone anymore. It was a phase and now a past, life is too valuable and long to cry over the past, they said smiling. Free Press spoke to some of the riot survivors.

Ravindra Sahoo, a hotelier in old Bhopal said the rioters had looted his gowdown and he luckily managed to escape. The riots were triggered by a few miscreants but it was the common man who suffered. “We would welcome the Supreme Court’s verdict on Ayodhya and not let anyone thrive on communal hatred and violence,” said Sahoo. The government too should pre-empt all efforts of anti-social elements to misguide vulnerable youths.

Santosh Sahoo, a resident of old Bhopal, had lost his father during riots. “My father was killed near Laxmi Talkies area, I still have no idea who killed him. I was too young then to even feel the loss but today his absence pains me a lot. Now, I do not want any other child to suffer like I did only because some people turned fanatic.”

Riots only cause loss to a human, but humanity is above everything, said Ibrahimganj’s Zameer Khan. His house was set ablaze by the rioters. Everything turned into ashes as some people on the instigation of others took to violence, said Khan. My sister was to get married and the entire family was excited and busy in preparations, but violence changed everything, he added. “I know it was all done by people for their vested interest,” he added. The youths should refrain from getting instigated and work hard towards better future, he said.

Recalling the riots, Shahwar Mansoori, a corproator who was only 12 years then, said house of his relatives was ransacked. Mansoori said that he tired hard but government never compensated for the losses. Youth should remain aware and alert and not fall victim to any rumor, not let their vicious plan of rumours mongers succeed, he added.

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