Peace plan greeted by scepticism.Christian activists say they are sceptical about promises by Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to restore peace to the troubled western state of Gujarat, which has been plagued by violence since mid-March when riots This is a chronological list of riots: 17th century and earlier
Prime Minister Vajpayee said he was "ashamed" about the events in Gujarat and about the fact that many people "had become refugees in their own country," in an address to Muslim victims of the riots at a refugee camp in Ahmedabad.
The communal riots broke out following the burning of a train, allegedly by Muslims, that left dozens of Hindus dead.
Prime Minister Vajpayee promised to compensate families of the people who were killed in the violence and promised two months' free food rations for the 100,000 Muslims now living in relief camps across the state.
Later, the prime minister instructed Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi Narendra Dāmodardās Modī (Gujarātī: , born September 17, 1950) has been the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat since October 7, 2001. to take "urgent steps" to contain the violence in the state.
However, Christian and secular activists expressed doubts that the prime minister's words and monetary aid would be enough.
"This will remain mere rhetoric to keep intact the prime minister's image," Ipe Joseph, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI NCCI National Council on Compensation Insurance (Boca Raton, FL)
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Church leaders blamed the continuing violence on the local government's lack of political will to contain it.
In a statement issued on April 4, the NCCI demanded that peace be restored in Gujarat even if it meant a change of leadership.
"The present leadership [of the Gujarat government] has not demonstrated a political will, efficiency and a neutral position to contain the violence and provide protection to the most vulnerable sections of the communities."
Churches were alarmed at the Amnesty International Amnesty International (AI,) human-rights organization founded in 1961 by Englishman Peter Benenson; it campaigns internationally against the detention of prisoners of conscience, for the fair trial of political prisoners, to abolish the death penalty and torture of report which said that both the state administration and the police may have taken insufficient action to protect the population during the massacres It may never be fully completed or, depending on its its nature, it may be that it can never be completed. However, new and revised entries in the list are always welcome. and in some cases may even have connived with the attackers.
Jesuit priest Cedric Prakash Father Cedric Prakash is a human rights activist and a Jesuit priest based in the city of Ahmedabad in western India. He is the director of Prashant, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace. , spokesperson for the ecumenical United Christian Forum for Human Rights in Gujarat said, "Peace is unlikely to return here as long as the culprits remain in power."