Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi

April 27, 2002


The President and the First Lady meet some men, women and children victims of voilence in Gujarat

The President of India, Shri K.R. Narayanan and the First Lady Smt. Usha Narayanan met a delegation led by Ms. Teesta Setalvad, Shabnam Hashmi and Ram Rahman of Communalism Combat and Sahmat at Rashtrapati Bhavan along with some men, women and children who have been the victims of violence from Gujarat. The victims narrated in detail the gruesome incidents such as violence and brutalities, sexual abuse and rape of women, killing of their kith and kin and destruction of their trade and property. They alleged partisan behaviour of the police and inaction of the State administration. While submitting the memorandum the delegation demanded President's Rule in Gujarat. The President expressed his pain and anguish at the violent incidents which have occurred in Gujarat and are still continuing there.

The President after hearing the delegation assured them that he would convey their sentiments to the Prime Minister as had been done in the earlier representations received in this regard. Responding to a suggestion that an All-Party committee mechanism for relief and rehabilitation could be set up, the President felt that this needs to be pursued seriously for effective implementation of relief and rehabilitation measures.