Family of British Muslims Saeed Dawood and first cousin of Shakeel Dawood, murdered in Gujarat, India, in 2002 by Hindu mobs under governorship of Narendra Modi, are concerned that Prime Minister, Theresa May, did not take up the issue with the now Prime Minister Modi during her visit to India this month
Ahmed J Versi
Family of British Muslims murdered in Gujarat, India, in February 2002 by Hindu mobs under governorship of Narendra Modi, are concerned that Prime Minister, Theresa May, did not take up the issue with the now Prime Minister Modi during her visit to India this month.
The Muslim News asked Downing Street whether May had taken up the issue of the British Muslims murdered, who were asking for the return of the remains of their bodies so that they can bury them in their hometown in Batley and have a closure with Modi.
A Government’s Spokesperson replied to The Muslim News “We have provided consular support to the families since 2002 and will continue to do so as needed.”
“We have regularly raised the case with the Indian authorities at all levels, including with Prime Minister Modi when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat.”
Brother of Saeed Dawood and first cousin of Shakeel Dawood, who were both murdered in Gujarat and their bodies burnt, Yusuf Dawood, was “surprised” that May “does not have the courage to raise this matter directly with her counterpart.”
In February 2002 three British Muslims, were among over 2,000 Muslims who were murdered and hundreds of Muslim women raped by Hindu mobs in Gujarat, India. Shakeel and Saeed Dawood, their friend Mohammed Aswat were brutally murdered. The atrocities took place under the rule of then Chief Minister, Narendra Modi.
Yusuf told The Muslim News that “All we are asking for is for the remains of our family members Saeed and Shakeel to be returned so that we can bury them in our hometown in Batley and the family can have some form of closure.”
“We have been waiting for over 14 years. I had hoped that Prime Minister, Theresa May, would have requested Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to do this small humanitarian gesture but was surprised that our Prime Minister is not concerned about her citizens’ welfare and does not have the courage to raise this matter directly with her counterpart.”
Saeed, Shakeel and Mohammed were returning with their 18-year-old nephew, Imran Dawood, from an excursion to the Taj Mahal to Gujarat. Within hours of crossing the Gujarat border, a roadblock, manned by a well-organised Hindu mob stopped the British tourists.
The mob circled the jeep and demanded to know from the occupants their religious identity, the tourists answered that they were British citizens and were Muslims.
The hired driver, Yusuf Peragar, was then dragged out of the jeep and attacked with sticks and killed on the spot. His body was then thrown back into the vehicle and set alight. In the meantime, the British tourists were chased to a nearby farm.
Mohammed and Imran were stabbed and left for dead. Imran who miraculously survived recalls seeing Saeed and Shakeel pleading with the mob to spare all their lives but to no avail. He witnessed the pogrom.
Imran told The Muslim News before Modi’s visit to the UK in November last year, that he was “sick and tired with the lies being told to him” that the culprits would be brought to justice. “Modi should not be allowed into the UK. I saw burning buildings. I saw mobs committing genocide. I saw dead bodies, I saw burnt bodies all around me. I experienced smells like never ever before. I was terrorised and left for dead. My family, neighbours were taken away from me and until now no justice has been delivered. And it sickens me now when I see the news on how killing of Muslims is still happening,” related Imran.
UK ended its boycott of Modi in October 2012 despite earlier quote from the leaked report of British High Commission in India according to which the pogroms in Gujarat in 2002, “had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister remains in power.” It further said, “far from being spontaneous” this massacre, “was planned, possibly months in advance, carried out by an extremist Hindu organisation with the support of the state government.”