Post-2002 riots, Gulbarg Society witnesses first celebration with pre-wedding event

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Misbah ka nikah Gulbarg Society

Ahmedabad: More than 22 years after 69 persons lost their lives in Ahmedabad's Gulbarg Society in one of the worst post-Godhra riots violence, a family residing there has found an occasion to celebrate with a pre-wedding function.


Several family members of Rafiq Mansuri, his friends, former neighbours and acquaintances gathered on Monday for the 'haldi' ceremony of his 19-year-old daughter Misbah at his residence in Ahmedabad's Gulbarg Society, which was largely abandoned after the 2002 massacre.

"It is for the first time in 22 years that a function has been organsied at the Gulbarg Society, giving us an occasion to cheer up," Mansuri told PTI.

"I lost 19 members of my family in the massacre, and people deserted the locality after the incident," he said.


On Monday, Mansuri's relatives and acquaintances danced to popular Bollywood songs and enjoyed a meal together as part of his daughter's pre-wedding celebration.

They later proceeded to Barwani in Madhya Pradesh for his daughter's wedding at a mass marriage function organised on Wednesday.

"Misbah is the eldest of my three children. She has a younger sister and a brother. Since this is the first marriage in the family, we decided to organise a function at the Gulbarg Society itself," Mansuri said.


Mansuri, who was 30 years old when the massacre took place, said he was the only one to stay put in the society while other residents decided to leave the past and move on to other localities.

He lost 19 family members, including his wife, son and six children of other relatives. He later remarried.

A mob had attacked Gulbarg Society, a pre-dominantly Muslim colony here, on February 28, 2002, killing 69 persons including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.


The massacre took place a day after a coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt near Godhra station, killing 58 'karsevaks'.

In June 2016, a special court convicted 24 persons in the Gulbarg Society case, awarding life imprisonment to 11 of them. Thirty-six others were acquitted.

In June 2022, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea of Ehsan Jafri's wife Zakia Jafri, challenging the Special Investigation Team's (SIT) clean chit to 64 people in the 2002 Gujarat riots case.