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The Gujarat High Court Wednesday criticised the Narendra Modi government in the state for “inaction and negligence” during the 2002 post-Godhra riots that led to large-scale destruction of religious structures.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J.B. Pardiwala made the observation while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Islamic Relief Committee of Gujarat (IRCG).

The court said the state government had failed, showed inaction and was negligent, due to which the riots happened and, consequently, religious structures were destroyed.

The court also said that the government was responsible for the repair of and compensation to such places. It argued that if the government could compensate for life, it could do the same for property.

The court also ordered that principal judges of 26 districts of the state will receive the applications for compensation of religious structures in their respective districts and decide on them. They have been asked to send their decisions to the high court within six months.

The IRCG, a charitable trust, had filed the petition in 2003 seeking the court’s directions to the government to pay compensation for damage to religious places during riots on the ground that the National Human Rights Commission, too, had so recommended and the state government had, in principle, accepted the suggestion.




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