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Riots case

New Delhi, Oct. 22: Twenty activists, writers and historians led by Jnanpeeth award winner Mahasweta Devi moved the Supreme Court today, seeking proper rehabilitation of the Gujarat riot victims and a CBI probe into the carnage, reports our legal correspondent.

The court issued notices to the Centre on the petition and clubbed it with an earlier one filed by a batch of “personalities” led by danseuse Mallika Sarabhai.

Besides Mahasweta Devi, author Bhishm Sahni, journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, bureaucrat-turned-poet Ashok Vajpeyi, vocalist Shubha Mudgal and others also sought a directive from the court to the state government to reopen relief camps.

and not close down those still functioning till the victims are rehabilitated.

The petition contended that right to life included right to shelter for victims and hence the relief camps should not be closed down till the last of them are rehabilitated. In this context, it argued that erring officials should be fined and departmental inquiry as well as criminal proceedings initiated against the officers for dereliction of duty.

The petition said a suitable compensation package should be offered to riot victims and sought a directive to the government to offer soft loans to the victims so that they can purchase and/or build houses.

The petitioners also sought transfer of all riot-related criminal cases to the CBI and demanded special fast track courts to try these cases after the investigating agency files chargesheets.

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