Missing, presumed dead in Gujarat

Nearly three hundred people missing since the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat will soon be declared dead by the authorities with the expiry of seven years’ stipulated time. The declaration will raise the official death toll in the carnage from 952 to 1,180.

According to the applicable law anybody missing for over seven years is declared dead after the lapse of the period.

The Gujarat home department is reported to have compiled lists of missing persons and forwarded them to the revenue department, which will make the announcements.

Some 413 people were discovered to be missing in the aftermath of the riots, 185 were later located or returned home, while 228, including 27 women and 24 women are still missing.

Ahmedabad city accounts for the highest number of missing with (99), followed by Panchamahals (76), Dahod (17), Ahmedabad district (9), Sabarkantha (9), Baroda (15), Anand (two) and Surat (one).

Families of those who are missing would be able to claim full compensation as paid to those who died during the riots, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing some of the cases afresh, has already revised the death toll of Naroda Patia and Naroda Gam massacres.

In the Naroda Patia case, the official figure, 83, has been revised to 93, while Naroda Gam toll has gone up to 11 from the earlier 8, SIT officials added.

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