Noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai and Mukul Sinha of Jan Sangharsh Manch were among the 48 people detained by the police for an hour at Naroda Patiya on Sunday. They had gathered there to protest against the chief minister's fast for 'sadbhavna'. Naroda Patiya was among the worst-affected places during the riots in 2002.
A large number of riot victims had gathered in Naroda Patiya to stage a protest against the chief minister's fast but they were detained by the police almost soon after their arrival. Police said they had been detained for not having prior permission to gather in large numbers.
"The protestors had come to us for permission but they came on September 17. We had told them to wait for a couple of days as there was a general alert following terror threats," said Ahmedabad police commissioner Sudhir Sinha.
"Further, because of the chief minister's programme, the police are busy with security measures. All the detained people were released within an hour," Sinha said.
On the other hand, the protestors said that they had gathered just for a meeting. They said denial of permission by the police had exposed the real face of the Modi government.
Human rights activist Fr Cedric Prakash condemned the detention of riot victims and of those supporting their cause. "We are living in a state where today discrimination, corruption and disharmony flourish," he said.