Document - India: Fear for safety, Population of Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
PUBLICAI Index: ASA 20/003/2002
EXTRA 19/02Fear for safety5 March 2002
INDIAPopulation of Ahmedabad, Gujarat
At least 242 people have been killed in the city of Ahmedabad since communal violence and rioting broke out on 28 February. Police have reportedly obstructed the work of NGOs and other organisations willing to take in relief supplies. Amnesty International is concerned that without these essential supplies, and the presence of neutral organisations to calm the situation, more people may die.
On 27 February, 58 people were killed in Gujarat in an attack on a train carrying Hindu activists. This triggered retaliatory violence against the Muslim minority in large parts of the state, including Ahmedabad. At least 580 people have been killed since the violence began.
Reports from Ahmedabad suggest that police may have taken insufficient action to protect the population of the city during the riots, and are now obstructing the work of NGOs bringing relief supplies to the victims.
Since 3 March a number of local and international NGOs have reportedly tried to enter the walled area of Ahmedabad. However the police and the city administration have either refused to let them in, or failed to provide the protection essential for them to enter the area in safety.
These organisations are trying to provide medical assistance, food and water to people in the walled area of Ahmedabad and in the 19 camps set up inside the city, where 32,000 people who have fled their homes are living. They are trying to provide sanitation facilities and shelter to those whose homes have been destroyed in the violence. They are also trying to assist relatives of those killed to identify and collect bodies from the city hospitals. Without this intervention they believe that diseases could spread in the city.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English or your own language:
- calling on the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner to ensure that his officers provide equal protection to all citizens of Ahmedabad and to ensure that relief supplies reach the victims, irrespective of their religion or political beliefs;
- expressing concern at reports that police and the civil administration in Ahmedabad have refused to allow relief supplies into the walled area of the city;
- urging the authorities to allow NGOs and other organizations into the riot-hit areas of the city and to provide them with full cooperation and protection so that they can bring relief to the victims of the violence.
APPEALS TO: (Fax numbers may be difficult to reach. Please keep trying.)
Head of police at city level
Office of the Commissioner of Police
Telegrams:Police Commissioner Pandey, Shahibag, Ahmedabad 380004, Gujarat, India
Faxes: + 91 79 5630600
Salutation:Dear Police Commissioner
Head of Ahmedabad civil administration
Telegrams:District Collector Srinivas, Gheekata, Ahmedabad 380004, Gujarat, India
Faxes: + 91 79 5508345 / + 91 79 5508445
Salutation:Dear District Collector
Chief Minister of Gujarat
Mr. N. Modi
Sardar Bhavan, Sachivalaya
Block No.1, 5th Floor
Gandhinagar 382 010
Faxes: + 91 79 3222101 / + 91 79 3222020
and to diplomatic representatives of India accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 31 March 2002.