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Gulberg massacre survivor to contest against Amit Shah in Gandhinagar

ANI  |  Politics 

Two brothers who survived the 2002 massacre - and Firoz Khan Pathan- have entered into and filed their nominations from Kheda and Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively.

Imityaz, 42, is a candidate of the and has been allotted the election symbol of pressure cooker, while Firoz, 45, is contesting as an against

Shah, who is a Rajya Sabha (MP), is contesting the Lok Sabha elections for the first time. He has been fielded from constituency, which was last represented by BJP veteran LK Advani.

Firoz now lives in Vejalpur, which falls under the Lok Sabha constituency while his younger brother Imtiyaz resides in the city area of Gomtipur. When a mob attacked society in Ahmedabad following the 2002 Godhra riots, the Pathan brothers lost as many as 10 members of their family, including their mother.

Imtiyaz, who is the key prosecution witness in the case, said both the BJP and the did nothing for the riot victims.

Firoz had filed a case against and her husband alleging misuse of funds collected for the victims of the riot.

Speaking to ANI about his candidature in this election, Firoz said: "Since 2002, we have not received any justice and we are still fighting for it. We were supported by an NGO but they also misused funding collected in our name and justice was again denied to us. This why I have decided to contest elections from seat. If 2.5 lakh Dalit and 3 lakh Muslim voters cast their vote in our favour then there are chances that and BJP will be defeated."

He added that his Hindu friends have extended support to him and he is confident of getting votes them.

Highlighting the need for a strong who can raise the voice of Gulberg riot victims in the Parliament, Firoz said: "I want to establish peace and communal harmony. Nobody is raising our issue in the Lok Sabha. There is no Muslim who can speak for us. In Rajya Sabha, there is but I have no hopes from him."

"The situation would have been different with Jafri (former who was killed in the massacre). He was the only person who worked for us. So, this is the reason I want to get elected as an MP. I will surely go to the Parliament to seek justice for my brothers," he added.

Around 68 people were killed at on February 28, 2002. The incident took place a day after the S-6 of was burnt at Godhra, inciting riots in

Polling in all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state will be held on April 23. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 16 2019. 10:24 IST