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Gujarat NGO worker alleges cops targeting him

Aug 03, 2008 11:01 AM IST India India

Ahmedabad: Yusuf Shaikh is the convener of a committee formed to monitor the condition of the victims of 2002 Gujarat riots were been internally displaced.

For the past three days, the police have been summoning him for questioning. One of the lines of investigation is a youth who spent time in relief camps after their homes were burnt down, could have provided support in the terror plots at Ahmedabad and Surat.

Shaikh alleges the police is almost treating social activists as suspects. "The police have sought every little detail of me and my family, and all people that I know. They have been harassing me," he says.

Activists agree. "Its almost as if it's a crime to be born in a community. The police has been questioning even innocent people,” says social activist, Dushyantbhai.

Human rights activists working in Gujarat say this amounts to victimisation and harassment.

"It is absolutely unacceptable. Not only are they harassing and picking up people and very senior people. Also,Amit Shah, a minister, has given an interview saying NGOs are responsible for terrorism because they are bringing money from outside and that money is used in terrorist attacks,” says Shabnam Hashmi, Convener of Anhad.

According to sources, the police are looking to question over 100 persons, all riot victims, who are presently not available at their addresses, and attempts are being made to track them down by questioning NGO workers.

"It's a virtual 360 degree investigation. We are looking at all possible angles in the investigation. We need to examine every possible link,” says Additional Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad, H P Singh.

For the police, a possible revenge angle is just another line of investigation, but for riot victims, it could be like adding insult to injury.