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Pogrom in India

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posted on Sep, 16 2003 @ 02:01 AM
Two police officers in khaki told us the situation was dangerous, and that we should leave; they seemed resigned or indifferent to the horror around them, an emotion I had encountered before during what would turn out to be more than three years of reporting on India for the Guardian. Later that afternoon, in the suburb of Naroda Patiya, we watched as a Hindu crowd armed with machetes and iron bars attacked their Muslim neighbours on the other side of the street. All of the shops on the Muslim side of the road were ablaze; smoke blotted out the sky; gas cylinders exploded and boomed; we were, it seemed, in some part of hell. "We are being killed. Please get us out," one Muslim resident, Dishu Banashek, told me. "They are firing at us. Several of our women have been raped. You must help."

When we asked a senior policeman to intervene he merely smirked. "Don't worry, madam. Everything will be done," he told a colleague from the Times mendaciously. We left. It was too dangerous to stay.

What happens when religion dominates politics.


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