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29th Oct 2015
Major test

Ahmed J Versi

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 the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, who will be coming to the UK as Prime Minister of India next month.

They 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 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.

Aswat and Imran were stabbed and left for dead. Imran miraculously survived and he recalls Saeed and Shakeel pleading with the mob to spare all their lives but to no avail. He witnessed the pogrom. Imran and family members of Dawood family are demanding that Prime Minister, David Cameron, cancel the visit of Modi into the UK. The family members of British Muslims are still waiting for justice for their loved ones.

Imran told The Muslim News that he is “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.

Aswat’s son, Suleman, told The Muslim News that he “would like to thank you for contacting us to try and highlight again the atrocities which occurred in India which led to my father and two very close family friends passing away. Despite a lot of efforts no one has been arrested for the deaths. I firmly believe that justice will prevail in the hereafter.”

Suleman added that “Many words, thoughts and feelings come to mind as to when we first received the information about what had happened and even now the same feelings remain. We feel anguished, hurt and sadness. A father, husband, brother, son and friend to many were lost.”

“The fact that Mr Modi is due to come to the UK is extremely sad,” he said and asked: “Will Mr Modi be challenged when he comes to the UK on what happened? It is unlikely.”

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.”

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