Social outfits and members from the minority community
shared their experiences of the 2002 Gujarat riots at a public hearing jointly organized
by various NGOs on February 22.

‘The public hearing was organized in response to Maulana Vastanvi’s statement where he meant
that everything was hunky-dory for the Muslims in Gujarat. He never condoned
the 2002 Godhra riots while speaking at the function,’ said Shabnam Hashmi, founder
member of NGO Anhad.

About 50 riot victims, along with a few social outfits from
eight districts of Gujarat, expressed their views on the lives of the minority
community in Gujarat after the Godhra riots.

Syeda Bilgrami Imam, member, National Commission for
Minorities, was a special observer of the hearing while the jury included Annie
Raja, president, National Federation of Indian Women, and activists Gagan Sethi
and Gita Hariharan.

After the public hearing, the jury recommended that there
should be a high-powered judicial commission headed by a former chief justice
of the Supreme Court to examine all cases of terror across the country.

The detailed report of the public hearing will be released
within the next ten days. The report will be sent to members of parliament, National
Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and relevant international agencies.