Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Modi Regime Allowed Free Run to Rioters

ON April 15, Mrs Zakia Ahsan Jafri filed a protest petition in an Ahmedabad court praying for the rejection in toto of the SIT final report dated February 8, 2012, making a cogent case for the chargesheeting of all 59 accused listed in her complaint dated June 8, 2006, beginning with Mr Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat. The protest petition that runs into 514 pages also has three volumes of annexures and ten CDs. The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), with its entire legal team, has assisted in this painstaking and voluminous exercise.

The petitioner strongly argues that the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had adequate documents and statements to come to a prima facie finding against all the accused. The SIT, however, decided to cover up the crimes and went out of its way to misguide the court and give a clean chit to the accused.

Phone call records show Modi to have been in close touch with Jaideep Patel, immediately after information of the Godhra tragedy came in, even before he met home department officials and ministers. Thereafter, there was a hasty and publicly conducted post-mortem at Godhra, out in the public against all law and procedure while a crowd of VHP workers was present. Modi was present while this happened.

Thereafter, while passions were being cynically stoked, another sinister decision to hand over the dead bodies of Godhra victims to VHP strongman Jaideep Patel was taken at a mini-cabinet meeting presided by Modi in Godhra, at which co-accused ministers are physically present. Jaideep Patel too was present at the meeting. Godhra district magistrate, Mrs Jayanti Ravi, had clearly stated that Patel was present at the meeting.

The protest petition goes into great detail, relying on documents from the investigation papers, on how the administration and police were deliberately paralysed and neutralised by the conspiracy hatched by Modi, the then Gujarat DGP K Chakravari, then Ahmedabad police commissioner P C Pande, then additional chief secretary (home) Ashok Narayan and other key members of the bureaucracy and police who connived in the conspiracy.

Key field reports from the SIB (state intelligence bureau) from all districts were given to the SIT by January 2010, i.e., full three and a half months before the SIT submitted its first investigation report to the Supreme Court on May 12, 2010. These reports reveal a grim ground level reality: gross provocations and bloodthirsty slogans by VHP workers from 4 pm onwards on February 27, 2002 afternoon (“Khoon ka badla khoon se lenge”, blood for blood) while Modi had still not left for Godhra. 

Phone records of the chief minister’s office reveal that he went to the airport to catch a helicopter for Godhra via Meghaninagar where the massacre at Gulberg society the next day was organised. Phone records of the CMO also show that after landing in Ahmedabad from Vadodara by aircraft (where he had travelled by road from Godhra on his return journey) too, Modi and CMO officials accompanying him were located at Meghaninagar late evening.

Just a week before the Godhra incident, on February 22, 2002, Modi had won in the Rajkot by-election by a slender margin (a few thousand votes). The glory of his victory had been dimmed with minority votes going heavily against him. Former CPI leader and later parliamentarian from the Congress, Ahsan Jafri, who had been an active campaigner against Modi in the by-election, lived in Gulberg Society, in Meghaninagar.

In a sinister furtherance of the conspiracy, a late night meeting at Modi’s residence effectively neutralised the police and administration from doing their constitutional duty. The protest petition states that the credibility of the evidence related to the critical February 27, 2002 meeting must be tested during trial and that it was not the job of the investigating agency to pre-judge the issue, acting like a court overstepping its jurisdiction to protect and save the powerful accused.

Evidence from Police Control Room (PCR) records submitted by P C Pande to the SIT after March 15, 2011 reveal cynical and cold-blooded mobilisation of RSS and VHP men at the Sola Civil Hospital from 4 am onwards on February 28, 2002 in aggressive anticipation for the arrival of the dead bodies. Repeated PCR messages, which the Home Department under Modi (who held the home portfolio) and Pande were trying to conceal, show that both in Ahmedabad and in several locations all over Gujarat crowds were mobilised to aggressively parade bodies with bloodthirsty sloganeering, inciting mobs to attack innocent Muslims.

The then joint police commissioner, Ahmedabad, Shivanand Jha, also an accused in the complaint, was jurisdictionally in charge of Sola Civil Hospital in Zone 1. As the messages extracted show, repeated PCR messages desperately asked for bandobust; they spoke of the staff and doctors of the hospital being under threat; of a 5,000-6,000 strong mob accompanying the bodies. Finally, one message also said that “riots have broken out.”

Yet  Modi, the entire Home Department and the accused under him and individuals accused including Chakravarti and Pande, in collaboration with the SIT, strived hard to conceal this evidence. While aggressive funeral processions were allowed in Ahmedabad, an equally explosive situation prevailed simultaneously in Khedbrahma, Vadodara, Modasa, Dahod, Anand etc. A cynical government under Modi and his co-accused conspirators had done their level best to conceal this evidence.

The PCR records -- which the SIT was trying hard to conceal -- also reveal that while the Ahmedabad police under Pande and the Home Department under Modi and then MOS (home) Gordhan Zadaphiya had enough forces to escort a VHP leader known for his inciting slogans, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, from the airport to the Sola Civil Hospital to accompany the processionists, shouting filthy hate speeches and murderous slogans. But they did not have enough forces to send to Naroda Patiya where 96 persons were massacred in broad daylight (chargesheet figures in the Naroda Patiya case, though more deaths have been recorded) and 69 persons at Gulberg society the same day and around the same time aggressive processions were being allowed. Modi, allowing and openly supporting the bandh and neutralising his administration, decided to give the RSS-VHP-BD mobs a free run of the Gujarat streets to massacre innocents.

As bad or worse were the provocations and hate speeches that were cynically allowed and encouraged by Modi and his administration. PCR messages of Ahmedabad and SIB messages from all over the state are testimony to this incendiary mobilisation.


12:30 pm on February 27: An SIB officer through fax no 525 communicated to the headquarters that there were reports that some dead bodies would be brought to Kalupur Hospital station in Ahmedabad city. "So communal violence will occur in the city of Ahmedabad; so take preventive action."

Another SIB message also warned about communal incidents if bodies were brought to Ahmedabad. "Communal violence will occur in the city. So take preventive action."  The same message said that karsevaks had given explosive interviews to a TV station at Godhra and threatened to unleash violence against the Muslims.

At 151 hours and again at 159 hours on February 28, there were panic messages by wireless police vans positioned at Sola Hospital demanding immediate protection from Special Reserve Police platoons and the presence of DCP Zone 1.

Message at 244 hours on February 28, 2002: the motor cavalcade has reached Sola Civil Hospital.

Page No 5790 of Annexure IV, File XIV reveals that at 04:00 am a mob comprising of 3,000 swayamsevaks of the RSS had already gathered at the Civil Sola Hospital.

At 7.14 am the PCR van again informed the Police Control Room that a large mob had assembled at the hospital.

Yet another message three minutes later, at 7:17 am said that a mob of 500 people was holding up the traffic.

Ten bodies were taken to Ramol, an area near Naroda, and a massive funeral rally of over 5,000-6,000 mourners took the bodies to Hatkeshwar crematorium in the afternoon.

At 11:55 am a PCR message was sent out saying that the mob had become violent and had set a vehicle on fire and was indulging in arson on the highway.

A message at 11.55 am on February 28, 2002 said, “Sayyed Saheb, the Protocol Officer had informed Sola-1 that riots have started at Sola Civil Hospital at the High Court where the dead bodies were brought.”

Again, there was another message, with no indication of time, stating that the officers and employees of the hospital had been surrounded by a 500 strong mob and they could not come out.” The message also made a demand for more security for the civil hospital at Sola.

Annexure IV, File XIV, Message No 5907 and 5925 at 11:58 am on February 28, 2002 showed that when 10 dead bodies were taken from Ramol Jantanagar to the Hatkeshwar cremation ground, a crowd of 5,000-6,000 persons accompanied this procession.

On the morning of February 28, 2002, a SIB message (P 258, Annexure III, File XIX) said that a funeral procession was allowed to take place at Khedbrahma, a town in Sabarkantha district. The message added that soon after the funeral procession two Muslims on their way to Khedbrahma were stabbed and the situation had become very tense.

The subsequent message at P 262 of the same file mentioned that 150 Bajrang Dal workers were on their way from Ayodhya to Khedbrahma.

Another message on P 254, sent out at 15.32 pm on February 28, 2002, stated that one more victim of the tragic train burning at Godhra, Babubhai Harjibhai Patel, resident at Vaghrol, Tal. Vadali in Sabarkantha was brought back and a funeral procession was organised in the town.

 A message sent out on February 28, 2002 sent by the ACP (Intelligence), Surat region, to SIB headquarters at Gandhinagar (P 365, Annexure III, File XXI), said that between 9 and 10 am on the same a meeting was held at Sardar Chowk in Vapi Town where Dinesh Kumar Behri of VHP and Acharya  Brahmbatt of Bajrang Dal, Jawahar Desai of BJP and Vinod Chowdhary of RSS made inflammatory speeches regarding the incident at Godhra and called upon the Hindus to unite. 

Another message (P 188, Annexure III, File XVIII) sent at 2038 hours on February 27, 2002, mentioned the following: “Dilip Trivedi, the general secretary of VHP, and joint secretary Dr Jaideep Patel and Kaushik Mehta in a joint statement issued by them have declared that innocent Ram Bhatt’s have been attacked and hence Gujarat Bandh has been declared. They have also stated that the attack on the Ramsevaks returning from Ayodhya was pre-planned by the Muslims. Innocent ladies were molested and compartments were set on fire and Ramsevaks were burnt alive.” 

The joint statement issued by the three senior-most office bearers of Gujarat VHP’s unit was clearly designed to stoke communal passion. A reasonable response would have been an immediate government clampdown on such public utterances and if required putting all these trouble makers under preventive detention.  But no such action was taken. The VHP called for a bandh on the February 28 and the BJP, the ruling party, openly supported the bandh call. The state, instead of clamping down on the bandh call, gave the VHP leaders and its cadres a free reign and a license to kill.

A message titled Vardhi No 24 (P 345, Annexure III, File XIX dated February 27, 2002), sent from DO Ahmedabad to the Intelligence Office at Virangam (in Ahmedabad rural district) stated that 50 to 75 members of the VHP and Bajrang Dal had gathered at Virangam town chali and in the Golwada area, and the situation was very tense.

Another message in the same file (at P 19) from SIB Police to K R Singh at 1810 hours on February 27, 2002 said that on 4,30 pm on the day “when the train arrived at the Ahmedabad railway station, the karsevaks were armed with ‘dandas’ and shouting murderous slogans khoon ka badla khoon and Bharat Mata ki Jai.” 

A fax message sent at 10.12 pm on the same day by PI, CID, Int Bhavnagar to IG of SIB at Gandhi Nagar, said that Sadhu Samaj president Gopalnandji had given an agitated speech at Junagadh Kadva chowk, between 1930 to 2100 hours on the day. The message then went on to name specific local VHP leaders and said they expressed their condolences to karsevaks and then delivered hate speeches, urged all Hindus to unite and told the audience to chop the hands and legs of our enemies. They said in their speech that even after the incident that occurred at Godhra in the morning at 7.30 am, there was no reaction from the Hindus, which was very unfortunate. “Muslims who live in India with sincerity and patriotism, we don’t have any agitation against them. But we have objections against those who lived in India and favour Pakistan and carried out activities against the country. Anti-national activities are being done in madrasas. We have objection against it. We do not have any kind of objection against spiritual religious education to the children. Pooja prathna at the temple and pray in the Masjid but Pakistan Zindabad is not right. Above mention ideas were expressed by them.”

A fax message dated February 27, 2002 from ACP, Intelligence, Gandhinagar region to IG of SIB, said that 50 karsevaks travelling by a special bus from Ahmedabad had reached Modasa centre in village Vadagam at Taluka Dhansura, at around 18:30 pm on the day. “They were received by a mob of 500 people and these karsevaks addressed the mob and told the people how the compartment of Sabarmati Express was attacked. People present in the mob got excited and at 21:30 pm people from around the village gathered and the mob swelled to a huge size. To maintain law and order the force was not sufficient and about 10 paan bidi shops were set on fire. Vehicles like jeep, Maruti and Ambassador were set on fire. Vehicles and shops seem to belong to Muslims. One Yasinbhai Multani’s shop at Kalol Centre, Takadi, Bavlu PS, village Kalyanpur was burnt down by the mob.”

Throughout February 28, 2002, while fires were set all over Ahmedabad city, PCR records show that repeated calls from different areas to the fire brigade went unanswered.

Prabir Purkayastha People's Democracy 21 April 2013

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