Narendra Modi's role in the Godhra riots.

ibu4ever
ibu4ever / 5 yrs ago /
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Narendra Modi's role in the Godhra riots.

The Supreme Court has asked the Gujarat Special Investigative Team (SIT) to investigate Gujarat Chief Minister

The apex court has asked for a probe into a complaint filed by a Gujarat riot victim against Modi and various other ministers, MLAs, VHP leaders, DGP of Gujarat and senior police officials.

The riot victim moved Supreme Court after the Gujarat High Court rejected her plea for registering an FIR against Modi and his colleagues for their role in provoking communal violence after the Godhra train burning.

The apex court had, on March 26, 2008, constituted the SIT that besides former CBI director R K Raghavan, has former DG of UP Police C D Satpathy and three IPS offices from Gujarat Geeta Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia as the members.

Nearly a year after it was set up by the Supreme Court, the high-powered SIT submitted its report before the apex court.

During its probe, the SIT recorded the statement of former DGP P C Pandey who was the Commissioner of Police in Ahmedabad during the riots in 2002.

Earlier in an interview to NDTV, Modi firmly sidestepped the question of whether he would apologise for the Gujarat riots.

 

Overview

 

NARENDRA MODI visited Godhra on the day of the burning of coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express. His outburst provided the first sign to Sangh workers that the time to corner the Muslims had come

THAT VERY NIGHT, top BJP and Sangh leaders met at Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Godhra, and gave the green signal for an all-out assault on Muslims across the state

A STRATEGY was devised on how to shield the attackers from the law after the riots. Prominent lawyers were briefed and senior police officers taken into confidence. The cadres were told Modi was squarely behind them

THE MOBILISATION of the under castes, something the Sangh had been engaged in for years, dovetailed into the deep penetration Hindutva already had among Gujarat’s higher castes. Godhra provided the perfect spark to fuse them together

FROM THE very outset, the police played partisan, often joining the mobs. Officers who tried to do their duty found their hands tied. The complicity was led by then Ahmedabad Commissioner PC Pandey, who ensured compliance by a swathe of junior officers

WEAPONS, FROM BOMBS to guns to trishuls, were either manufactured and distributed by Sangh workers themselves, or smuggled through Sangh channels from all over India. The Bajrang Dal and the VHP already had a large cache of firearms and daggers

BJP AND SANGH LEADERS led the bloodthirsty mobs through Ahmedabad’s bylanes, Sabarkantha’s villages, Vadodara’s localities. The police stood guard to the mayhem

BJP MLA MAYABEN KODNANI drove around Ahmedabad’s Naroda locality all day, directing the mobs. VHP leaders Atul Vaid and Bharat Teli did the same at the Gulbarg Housing Society. None of them ever went to jail

FIRE WAS THE MOST FAVOURED weapon in the rioters’ hands. That cremation is considered un-Islamic fuelled their frenzy to burn. Petrol and kerosene were lavishly used, as were the victims’ own gas cylinders

BABU BAJRANGI reveals he collected 23 revolvers from Hindus in Naroda Patiya. He called VHP general secretary Jaideep Patel 11 times and informed Gordhan Zadaphia, the then minister of state for home, about the death toll

GOVERNMENT COUNSEL before the Nanavati-Shah Commission, Arvind Pandya, himself worships Modi and describes Justice Shah as “our man”. Nanavati’s own report on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is gathering dust till today

Ahmedabad: Carnage Capital

ASHISH KHETAN

In Naroda, Gulbarg, Kalupur and Dariyapur, murderous mobs armed to the teeth obeyed the Sangh Parivar’s every word

Muslims who had begged police to protect them the day before huddle in the wreckage of their burned out homes in Ahmedabad
Photo: Ami Vitale

THE MOST horrifying massacre of the Gujarat riots was the one at Naroda Gaon and Naroda Patiya localities in Ahmedabad. A local Bajrang Dal leader, Babu Bajrangi, was one of the main conspirators. He started planning the massacre soon after the news of the Sabarmati incident broke. Starting in the evening of February 27, firearms and inflammable material were collected; Bajrangi also formed a select team, drawn from the cadre of the VHP and the Bajrang Dal. Members of the Chhara community, a denotified criminal tribe, were also roped in. TEHELKA spoke to two of them, Suresh Richard and Prakash Rathod. Both believed, and were made to believe, that by killing Muslims they were doing a great service to Hinduism.

On February 28, 2002, Bajrangi marshalled a murderous mob through the narrow bylanes of Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon. Egging the mob on was also local BJP MLA Mayaben Kodnani, who is also a doctor. Both Richard and Rathod have been recorded on TEHELKA’s spycam saying that Kodnani drove around Naroda all through the day, urging the mob to hunt Muslims down and kill them. Kodnani’s trusted lieutenant, BJP member Bipin Panchal, was also present with his own small band of followers, armed to the teeth. All through the massacre, Bajrangi and VHP state general secretary Jaideep Patel were on the phone with each other. Bajrangi did not reveal whether Patel was also involved in the planning. However, he did say that the death toll was being communicated to Patel at regular intervals. Several survivors from Naroda Gaon have identified Patel as the leader of the Naroda mob.

At the end of the day the total “score” — as Bajrangi chose to term estimates of the number of Muslims killed — in Naroda was well over at least 200. This figure has not been acknowledged by the state government; officially, 105 people were killed at Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon. Naroda, however, was far from the only Ahmedabad locality to be turned into a mass incinerator. A few kilometres away, VHP leaders were leading a frenzied mob at Meghaninagar. The target was a housing society called Gulbarg, a building inhabited by Muslims.

TEHELKA stung three participants in the carnage — Mangilal Jain, Prahlad Raju and Madan Chawal — all three local petty traders and all three with cases against them for their part in the riots. They said they and other members of the mob had been led by VHP leaders Atul Vaid and Bharat Teli, both of whom were named as accused in the FIR but were subsequently cleared of all charges when the police filed the chargesheet. Chawal gave a graphic description of how he and his accomplices first hacked former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri apart limb from limb, and then made a heap of his body parts, which they set on fire.

The official death toll of the Gulbarg massacre stood at 39, but the accused told TEHELKA that the actual number of those killed was much higher. Apart from the housing society’s residents, the dead also included Muslims who lived in nearby slums who had taken shelter in the building. TEHELKA also spoke to VHP leaders Rajendra Vyas and Ramesh Dave, who planned attacks on Muslims in Kalupur and Dariyapur, among Ahmedabad’s most communally sensitive areas. Ahmedabad city VHP president Rajendra Vyas, who was also in charge of the ill-fated Sabarmati Express, said that on the day of the fire on the train that killed 59 karsevaks, he had told the VHP cadre that “the Muslims had played a one-day match and given us a target of 60 runs. We shall now have to play a test match and we won’t stop until we score 600.”

Vyas, who lives in Kalupur, was recorded on the TEHELKA camera stating that he himself had shot dead five Muslims and had burned down nine Muslim houses. Ramesh Dave was the VHP’s point man in Dariyapur. He said he and his fellow planners had targeted and killed Muslims who had been in their sights for over 20 years — “chun-chun ke maara is baar (we specifically hunted them down)”. Dave also claimed that along with a friend, he had arranged for about 10 small firearms.

 

Vadodara: Charred City

ASHISH KHETAN

Every Muslim locality was attacked in phases spread over two months. At Best Bakery, 14 people were burnt alive

 

THOUGH NOTHING could be compared to the violence unleashed in Ahmedabad, Muslims in Vadodara — the second largest city in Gujarat — were also assaulted in a phased manner. The first round, which started on February 27 itself, lasted until March 2, with the worst incident taking place on March 1, when 14 persons were burnt alive at the Best Bakery in Hanuman Tekri. Thereafter there was violence between March 15-20 and, following this, between April 25-May 2, with some incidents taking place in the intervening period, especially on March 25.

Almost every major Muslim locality of the city was attacked. Kisanwadi, Sama, Ashabiwi Chawl, Madhavpur II, Makkarpura, Audhootnagar, Raghovpura, Noor Park, Karelibagh, Gotri village, Hajimiyan ka Sara, Hanuman Tekri, Roshannagar, Panigate, Taiwada and Macchipith were among the areas where Hindu mobs went on a rampage. Hundreds of Muslim homes and businesses were looted and torched. In Sama, a relatively new part of Vadodara with a predominantly Hindu population, a mob of around 20 people attacked the residence of Prof JS Bandukwala, a professor of physics at the Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) and a respected figure in Vadodara, on the morning of February 28. The mob left after Prof Bandukwala and his daughter managed to take shelter in their Hindu neighbour’s house.

However, on the following day, March 1, a larger mob, armed with gas cylinders among other weaponry, launched a second assault and succeeded in torching Bandukwala’s house. The homes of two other prominent Muslim bureaucrats in the area were burned down. TEHELKA stung a rioter, Dhimant Bhatt, who was in the mob that torched these three homes. Bhatt is an accountant by profession — he is the chief accountant and auditor of MSU — but his real vocation is to inflict damage on Muslims.

Besides being a university employee, he also works as a personal assistant to the current Vadodara BJP MP Jayaben Thakkar. Bhatt revealed that on the night of the Sabarmati Express incident, a meeting was convened of Vadodara’s top BJP, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and ABVP functionaries. Bhatt, who is also an RSS member, was present at the meeting, which is where, he says, a strategy of attacking Muslims was outlined. A plan for providing legal assistance to Hindus who may face legal action after the riots was also chalked out at the same meeting.

TEHELKA met another Vadodara BJP leader, Deepak Shah, who not only corroborated what Bhatt told us but also gave the name of the farmhouse where the meeting took place — Narmada Farmhouse. Shah, who is also a member of the Syndicate of the MSU, also corroborated what Babu Bajrangi had boasted of in Ahmedabad — that saffron organizations used lower-caste Hindus for carrying out anti-Muslim attacks.

 

Sabarkantha: Nowhere To Run

ASHISH KHETAN

'Lock the door from outside and burn the Muslims inside.’ This was the chilling war cry to which the mobs rallied, led by a VHP leader who had vowed to kill 500 Muslims

Riot victims at a relief camp in Sabarkantha district, 150 kms south of Ahmedabad

THE MAXIMUM economic loss that Muslims suffered was in Sabarkantha district, with hundreds of Muslim houses and businesses razed to the ground. Anil Patel, the VHP vibhag pramukh (departmental chief), was among the key planners of the carnage here. He told TEHELKA that after the Sabarmati incident, he had taken a vow to kill at least 500 Muslims, failing which he would relinquish the VHP office he was holding. “Our war cry was ‘Lock the door from outside and burn the Muslims from the inside’,” Patel told TEHELKA. He also said he had openly urged the VHP and RSS cadres to go out and kill Muslims and burn their properties. There was hardly a village in Sabarkantha where Muslim houses and businesses were not torched, Patel said. A total of 126 Muslim houses were reduced to ashes in Patel’s own village, Dhansura, he revealed.

Patel said there while was no single strategy, the intent was to inflict maximum casualties and damage on Muslims. He also said that Pravin Togadia had been coordinating matters at the district level during the carnage. Patel said Togadia told him to work in such a way so as to ensure that important VHP workers were not booked and sent behind bars. In Sabarkantha, 1,545 houses and 1,237 business of Muslims were torched, and 549 shops were ransacked.

‘After Killing Them, I Felt Like Maharana Pratap’

Transcript: BABU BAJRANGI

Neither loot nor rape, this Bajrang Dal leader had only murder on his mind

 

SEPTEMBER 1, 2007

Bajrangi: My role was as follows: I was the first to start the [Naroda] Patiya operation… We and the local residents were all together. Patiya is just half a kilometre away from my home… I had gone to Godhra when it happened… I could not bear what I saw… The next day, we gave them a fitting reply…

TEHELKA: What were you unable to tolerate in Godhra?

Bajrangi:
Any person who saw the Godhra kaand [massacre] would have felt like just killing them at once, hacking them apart… that’s how it was…

TEHELKA: You were there?

Bajrangi: Yes, yes, I was with them… So the Godhra kaand happened and after what I saw, I just came back to Naroda and we took revenge.

TEHELKA: How could you organize it all in such short time?

Bajrangi: Little time… We organized everything that night itself… We mobilised a team of 29 or 30 people… Those who had guns, we went to them that night itself and told them to give us their guns… If anyone refused, I told them I would shoot them the next day, even if they were Hindu… So people agreed to part with whatever cartridges and guns they had… In this way, we collected 23 guns. But nobody died of gunshots… What happened was this: we chased them and were able to scare them into a huge khadda [pit]. There we surrounded them and finished everything off… Then, at 7 o’clock, we announced…

TEHELKA: This was in Patiya? That’s what it’s called, isn’t it?

Bajrangi: Yes, yes, Patiya.

TEHELKA: Please describe the area.

Bajrangi: In Patiya, there is an ST [State Transport] workshop with a huge wall beside it; next to this wall, Patiya begins… Opposite Patiya, there is a masjid and beside it is a sprawling khadda… That’s where we killed them all… At 7 o’clock, I called the home minister and also Jaideepbhai [Jaideep Patel, VHP general secretary] and told them how many people had been killed and said that things were now in their hands… I don’t know if they did anything, though… At 2.30 in the morning, an FIR was lodged against me… The FIR said I was there… the police commissioner even issued orders to shoot me at sight…

TEHELKA: Who, Narendrabhai?

Bajrangi: The commissioner ordered…

• • •

Bajrangi: We and the Chharas carried out the Patiya massacre… After that, we all went to jail… People gave us a lot of money after we were jailed… I am rich, so I have no worries, but the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders didn’t care for those who were poor and had no money. Even from jail I was telling them [the VHP] to look after their families, do something for the accused. They provided for them for some four to six months, after that all help was stopped… They had promised to fight our cases in court… but till today, nobody has done a thing… Pravinbhai [Togadia, VHP international general secretary] had promised this openly… and he had also said that if there were any problems at their home or any loss [he would take care of them]… but no one knows where they put all the money they collected… Nobody was given any money… for five to seven months, they gave rations, but nothing apart from that…

TEHELKA: You were in touch only with Jaideepbhai?

Bajrangi: Only Jaideep was talking to me from the VHP.

TEHELKA: The day the Muslims were killed…

Bajrangi: I spoke to Jaideepbhai 11 or 12 times… aur humne tabiyat se kaata… Haldighati bana di thi [and we killed at will, turned the place into Haldighati]… And I am proud of it, if I get another chance, I will kill even more…

TEHELKA: Where was Jaideepbhai camping then?

Bajrangi: Jaideepbhai was sitting at Dhanwantri, which is Pravinbhai’s dispensary, he was there… in Bapunagar… There he was and I didn’t even tell him that we were going to do this… In Naroda and Naroda Patiya, we didn’t spare a single Muslim shop, we set everything on fire, we set them on fire and killed them… That’s what we did… Up till then, they didn’t know what was happening; when they got to hear of how many had been killed, they got scared…

• • •

Photo: Paras Shah

Bajrangi: There is a distance of about half a kilometre between Naroda [Patiya] and Naroda Gaon... We did a lot at both places… must have butchered not less than… Then we dumped the corpses into a well… At first, I didn’t talk [This was TEHELKA’s fourth meeting with him.] I thought… Many journalists and all kinds of people and come ask me if I was in the Patiya incident… I tell them I was not involved, I was quite far away admitted in a hospital…

• • •

TEHELKA: Do you know Gordhan Zadaphia has revolted?… During the Patiya massacre, what did he say when you spoke to him?

Bajrangi: I spoke to Gordhan Zadaphia… I told him everything that had happened… He told me to leave Gujarat and go into hiding… I asked what he meant, but he told me to run away and to not ever say anywhere that we had talked…

• • •

TEHELKA: Tell us how it was all done… revolvers… cylinders…

Bajrangi: The cylinders were theirs [the Muslims’]… Whichever house we entered, we just grabbed the cylinder and fired at it, and, dhadak, they exploded… We had guns in any case… I can’t tell you what a good time it was… But four of our activists died in it… No hearing took place even in that…

TEHELKA: Did you climb to the top of a masjid and tie a pig there?

Bajrangi:We rammed an entire tanker into it… the tanker was fully laden… We rammed that tanker inside…

TEHELKA: It was a petrol tanker, no?

Bajrangi: It was diesel… We drove a whole diesel tanker in and then set [the mosque] on fire…

TEHELKA: Meaning, it was the tanker explosion which set Patiya on fire?

Bajrangi: In the masjid…

TEHELKA: In the masjid…

Bajrangi: As for the rest of it, I was in charge at the time… Whatever I wanted to do, I did…

TEHELKA: At the pit, was oil… Those people had gathered there…

Bajrangi: It was a huge pit… You could enter it from one side but you couldn’t climb out at the other end… They were all there together… They started clinging to each other… Even while they were dying, they told each other, you die too, what are you going to be saved for, you die too… so the number of deaths increased.

TEHELKA: Then people poured oil in…

Bajrangi: Oil and burning tyres…

TEHELKA: Where did the oil come from?

Bajrangi: Oh that… We had lots of material with us… we filled lots of jerrycans in advance… From the petrol pump, the night before… Petrol pump owners gave us petrol and diesel for free…

• • •

TEHELKA: Muslims were hacked to pieces…

Bajrangi: Hacked, burnt, set on fire, many things were done… many… We believe in setting them on fire because these bastards say they don’t want to be cremated, they’re afraid of it, they say this and that will happen to them… I have just one wish… one last wish…. Let me be sentenced to death… I don’t want to be incarcerated… I don’t care if I’m hanged… Give me two days before my hanging and I will go and have a field day in Juhapura [a Muslim dominated are], where seven or eight lakh of these people stay… I will finish them off … Let a few more of them die… At least 25-50,000 should die…

TEHELKA: How many witnesses have testified against you?

Bajrangi: Fourteen Muslims and 16 policemen… Out of the 14 Muslims, some have moved to Juhapura… They’ve left Patiya, they don’t have the guts to stay there, defying us… The rest have gone to Karnataka… They got money after all, Rs 7 lakh each… Narendrabhai never said how much they would be given… He announced [the compensation package] then gave out cheques of Rs 20,000 each and that’s where things got stuck… Afterwards, he gave nothing to anyone… But then the Central government supported them…

• • •

TEHELKA: In other words, the way [you] have killed will go down in history.

Bajrangi: Arrey hamari FIR me likha gaya hai… ek woh pregnant thi, usko to humne chir diya thha b*******d sala… Unko dikhaya ki kya hota hai… ki hum log ko tumne maara to hum tumko kya pratikaar de sakte hain… hum khichdi kadhi wale nahin hai [It has been written in my FIR… there was this pregnant woman, I slit her open, sisterf****r… Showed them what’s what… what kind of revenge we can take if our people are killed… I am no feeble rice-eater]… didn’t spare anyone… they shouldn’t even be allowed to breed… I say that even today… Whoever they are, women, children, whoever… Nothing to be done with them but cut them down. Thrash them, slash them, burn the bastards… Hindus can be bad… Hindus can be bad, and I’m saying that because, as I see it, Hindus are as wicked as those people are… Many of them wasted time looting… Arrey, [the idea is] don’t keep them alive at all, after that everything is ours…

TEHELKA: And some people also raped…

Bajrangi: No, there were no rapes…

TEHELKA: One or two Chharas may have…

Bajrangi: If some Chharas took some women, that’s a different matter… We were marching in groups… There was no place to rape anyone there… Everyone was on a killing spree… we were killing, hacking… There were lanes where we had to face Muslims… there would be a confrontation, they’d fight back with all their strength…The moment we’d killed a few, we’d move on… In this melée, if some girl was trying to run away and if a Chhara caught her, then that’s another matter… That day, it was like what happened between Pakistan and India… There were bodies everywhere… it was a sight to be seen, but it wasn’t something to be filmed, in case it got into someone’s hands… There was a video-wala there, some mediawala, we set him on fire too… Lots of those miyas [Muslims] deceived us… They’d chant Jai Mata Di and get away... that happened too… they’d put tilaks on their foreheads and shout Jai Shri Ram, Jai Mata Di….

TEHELKA: Tell me how that SRPF [State Reserve Police Force] man saved people?

Bajrangi: There was just one Muslim… some big SRP man… Sayeed…

TEHELKA: He was an officer...

Bajrangi: Yes, he was… All this cutting and killing happened behind the SRP camp… The ones who weren’t in the pit, they ran and got into the SRP compound… The SRP jawans there were driving them away… when the officer came in his vehicle and said take everyone inside… He was in command… an officer… So, lots of people were saved this way… at least 500 were rescued… Otherwise would they have all gone too… The officer was also fired at… He is also a witness against me…

TEHELKA: But then Narendrabhai promoted him and…

Bajrangi: Silenced him… So, there was good work done in Patiya. Today too I am fighting against Muslims and will continue to do so… I have nothing to do with politics… What I say is this: the VHP is an organisation… a Hindu organisation… Our politics should be limited to killing Muslims, beating them up…

TEHELKA: How do you feel after you have killed Muslims…

Bajrangi: Maza aata hai na, saheb [I enjoy it]… I came back after I killed them them, called up the home minister and went to sleep… I felt like Rana Pratap, that I had done something like Maharana Pratap… I’d heard stories about him, but that day I did what he did myself.

‘They Hacked Him Bit By Bit, Then Burnt Him Alive'

Transcript: MADAN CHAWAL

This Gulbarg accused was part of the team that kicked former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri to the ground and killed him

 

JUNE 12, 2007

Chawal: I was there that day… all day, I ran with them… When they brought Jafri saheb, I was standing there itself… they held him down, kicked him in the back… they meant to chop him up…

TEHELKA: Describe it all in detail… Where did it begin?

Chawal: I was at my shop when the VHP people came around 8.30-9 o’clock to get the shops to down shutters. Around 9-9.30, a shop was set ablaze right in front of mine. That’s when I realized it had started…

TEHELKA:Was it a Muslim’s shop?

Chawal: Yes, it was. People started running once it started. Papa told me to close my shop… even though it was my region, my area, and nobody would have said anything even if my shop had stayed open… Nobody spoke when they told them to close the shops… Then I gestured with my hands to say it wouldn’t look nice, it was a matter of religion and hence it was all the more important to close the shops… My father said close it for today, let’s go home… My father, the others, all of us went home…Then around 10.30 or 11, I went out… The moment I did so, I joined the mob… the ruckus continued all the time I was with the crowd… it went on for at least two and a half hours …

TEHELKA: Who was leading the mob?

Chawal: Most people had joined the mob. The moment that shop was set on fire, everyone started gathering there.

TEHELKA:Were the VHP people also part of the mob?

Chawal: All of them.

TEHELKA: Who were there from the VHP?

Chawal: At that time, I didn’t know all the leaders… I never had any contacts since I’m from a business background and I knew people only from that field… Later, though, when I met Atul-bhai, I remembered he was there too…

TEHELKA: Atul Vaid was there…

Chawal: Atul Vaid was there, then there’s one Bharatbhai Teli, he was also there. These boys…these big ones… they came to get me out of jail, it was then that I met them… they would come to the police station… Although they never came to the Central jail… they would look at me when they would come to the station … That was when I began realising that they were also there… And I used to wonder why I had been arrested while their names were dropped… Why didn’t Atul
Vaid and Bharat Teli’s names come up when mine did?… I didn’t give it too much importance, though, since these people could have helped me leave jail or do something else for me. That is why I never opened my mouth, never dropped a word anywhere about these people being there too… nobody ever said anything about it… not even the 40 boys who were inside jail…

TEHELKA: Everybody knew it…

Chawal: They knew it…We would never talk about what exactly happened… In jail, we would say that we didn’t know anything about it… that we’d just been trapped … I was recorded in the first chargesheet as having used kerosene to lit a fire… In that chargesheet I had been shot around 5.30-6.00 in the evening when Erda saheb said…

TEHELKA: Who shot you?

Chawal: Erda saheb said that…that whole region… Didn’t I show you the place?

TEHELKA: Yes.

Chawal: I was just standing around… some eight to 15 people were there near him… We asked, saheb, what are you doing, why are you saving them?

TEHELKA: You said this to Erda…

Chawal: The public… we were eight to 15 people… everyone asked him ‘What are you doing?’

TEHELKA: You asked him where he was taking the Muslims?

Chawal:We asked him where he was taking them… then he told us what he was doing…

TEHELKA: What did he say?

Chawal: He said, do this… when the vehicle [in which the Muslims were] comes this way, our constable [accompanying the vehicle] will run away… set the vehicle on fire… The whole episode will end here itself and there will be no question of framing a case against anyone… Poori picture yahin khatam ho jayegi [it will be “The End” here itself]… When he said this, the Bagri community thought that they were taking people who could turn witness… [they feared] that he might get them in trouble… They started pelting stones at Erda saheb… and when one of them hit him, I ran away. He took out his revolver… he was behind me… he yelled at me and told me stop… When I tried to pull my nephew along with me while I was escaping, he shot at me…

TEHELKA: Erda saheb shot you?… Was it by mistake…

Chawal: It was by mistake… it was shot at my hand… My hand was injured but none of the clinics were open, all of them were closed… All the hospital at that time… Then I went to the Civil Hospital… I wasn’t aware about things like these because I had never been part of anything like this before… That day, I ended up getting my real name written in the hospital records…

TEHELKA: Then how did you kill Jafri that morning?

 

Chawal: Jafri…Well, it’s like when those people caught him, I kicked him in the back and they pulled him away… The moment they pulled him away…

TEHELKA: You kicked Jafri?

Chawal: Kicked him…

TEHELKA: He fell down…

Chawal: Gira… woh nahi… khaich... unke haath me tha, na… Paanchchheh jan pakad liye the, phir usko jaise pakad ke khada rakha phir logon mein kisi ne talwar maari… haath kate… haath kaat ke phir pair kaate… phir na sab kaat dala… phir tukde kar ke phir lakda jo lagaye the, lakde uspe rakh ke phir jala daala… zinda jala daala… [Fell down… not that… He was pulled by his hand… Five or six people held him, then someone struck him with a sword… chopped off his hand, then his legs… chopped off all his organs… after cutting him to pieces, they put him on the wood they’d piled and set it on fire… burnt him alive…]

TEHELKA: So when you people were cutting up Jafri’s body, didn’t Erda come to save him?

Chawal: No one did anything… At that time, Erda saheb wasn’t even there… He had gone to Meghaninagar with his vehicle… He didn’t know they were chopping Jafri saheb… All this happened around 1 or 1.30.

TEHELKA: But did the rest of Jafri’s family manage to escape?

Chawal: No they didn’t… His wife was the only one saved… She disguised herself as a Hindu…

TEHELKA: But some of his daughters were saved?

Chawal: Nobody at the place escaped, none of his family… The only ones who did were the ones who weren’t there… His wife said that she was a maid… a Hindu, living in the Patrewali Chawl that is behind… Why do you want to kill me [she said], I’m just a servant. She was dressed like a Hindu… well dressed…

TEHELKA: She escaped because you didn’t recognise her?

Chawal: I had never met her because there was never a need to go and meet them… I never had any relations with them…

• • •

TEHELKA: How big is Gulbarg society…Do lots of people live there?

Chawal: Lots of them.

TEHELKA: So have people come back to live at this place?

Chawal: Nobody has come back… it’s closed now… it’s like a jail… Nobody came back to it…

TEHELKA: But some people were saved there that evening?…

Chawal: Some 40 people ran away… some of them had left before…

TEHELKA: So how did you enter Gulbarg?

Chawal: People got gas cylinders from their homes… They kept them on the society’s outer walls… then they got pipes from the bakery where bread and so on are made and they opened the cylinders with them. Then they went far and made a khupda [cloth torch] and threw the cylinders at the wall… The cylinders exploded and the wall broke. Then we got inside…

TEHELKA:Was the wall too high?

Chawal: Too much… it was no two ft wall… It must have been around 15-20 feet high…On top of it, there was a barbed wire fence too…

TEHELKA: So the wall broke with just one or two cylinders?

Chawal: Two cylinders… one was thrown there and the other one in the front… The wall would obviously have broken from the cylinders… Cylinders are heavy…

TEHELKA: So the houses inside caught fire?

Chawal: People used the residents’own things to burn their houses… nobody needed to get anything from outside… their own things were used to burn them…

TEHELKA: The same thing happened in Patiya too…

Chawal: The same happened in Patiya…


‘Parishad People Got Me Out On Bail'

Transcript: PRAHLAD RAJU

Raju, accused in the Gulbarg case, had to spend six months in jail. But it was quite comfortable, he says

 

SEPTEMBER 8, 2007

TEHELKA: How many months did you spend in jail?

Prahlad Raju: I was there for six and-a-half months. …

TEHELKA: What help did the VHP provide you with during that time?

Raju: They delivered goods at my home.

TEHELKA: Rations?

Raju: I have two kids. They were in school… I had talked to VHP people who used to come to the courts on hearing dates. They told me there was no need to pay the school fees and that they would talk to the school authorities… They did go to the school, but they didn’t pay the fees… When I came back after six-and-a-half months, I found I had to pay the entire fees for both kids at one go.

TEHELKA: Had they told you they would pay the fees?

Raju: Yeah…they had gone to the school too…

TEHELKA: Who went there from the VHP?

Raju: Bharatbhai Teli

TEHELKA: Bharatbhai Teli went there… and did nothing.

Raju: Nothing…

TEHELKA: The day this Gulbarg thing happened… were VHP people with you?

Raju: They were… At 8:30, they started from Meghaninagar … They were closing down shops… and banding together… I joined them at 7:30. I was acquainted with Atulbhai…

TEHELKA: Atul Vaid?

Raju: He said everybody was to move together…

TEHELKA: Who said this… Atul Vaid?

Raju: Yes.

TEHELKA: Atul Vaid said this or Bharat Teli?

Raju: Atul Vaid…

TEHELKA: Atul Vaid told you to move together…

Raju: Move together…

TEHELKA: From Meghaninagar ….

Raju: From there, we all moved together…

TEHELKA: Where?

Raju: Towards Gulbarg … We were closing down shops and people were joining us…

TEHELKA: People kept multiplying…

Raju: Kept multiplying …

TEHELKA: What happened after you reached Gulbarg?

Raju: Then the stone pelting started. When the other side started firing at us, we went back to our homes… I used to live in a Muslim locality. I got my kids out.

TEHELKA: You left the kids home?

Raju: It’s the same way from Gulbarg to my house. We were going from the back way… where there is a railway track… I was hit on my leg.

TEHELKA: Your leg was hurt… You were hit by stone?

Raju: No… A charra [small pellet] hit me.

TEHELKA: Then… you left the kids at home…

Raju: After leaving the kids, I went to hospital…

TEHELKA: From there you went to hospital…

Raju: I left the place at one o’ clock…

TEHELKA: The hospital?

Raju: No, the area… I mean Gulbarg… I came back from the Civil Hospital at five. At that time, they were being taken away…

TEHELKA: Dead bodies?

Raju: No… those who survived...

TEHELKA: They were being taken…

Raju: Dead bodies were taken away in the night… first at 11 o’ clock and then a second batch in the morning.

TEHELKA: You didn’t do anything there at that time?

Raju: At that time, there was stone pelting. That was all that happened.

TEHELKA: You were there only during the stone pelting….

Raju: I could not get inside…

TEHELKA: Then who went inside Gulbarg?

Raju: I don’t know who were present inside. But they were not local people.

TEHELKA: They were from outside… but were there any Vishwa Hindu Parishad people?

Raju: Yes…there were …

TEHELKA: Were there any people from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh?

Raju: They were carrying trishuls… Bajrang Dal…

TEHELKA: So it was Bajrang Dal people who went inside?

Raju: [nods his head in confirmation]

TEHELKA: Everybody was carrying a trishul.

Raju: Yeah..Carrying trishuls…

TEHELKA: So… where did the police pick you up from?

Raju: My name was there.

TEHELKA: You were picked up on the second day itself?

Raju: No, they did not pick me up. There was an inquiry so we left that place. Then I met these people… Chetanbhai Shah [public prosecutor]. He told me to get ready to leave the place for three or four months. He said, leave home for a month. I did that but the Crime Branch people started giving me trouble. Then I got myself arrested. Then they treated me well.

TEHELKA: The Crime Branch…

Raju: People from the Crime Branch behaved very nicely with us. We felt quite at home. Our family members used to come to meet us…

TEHELKA: And did you spend your own money on your bail?

Raju: No, the Parishad people did that.

TEHELKA: Did the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s people bail you out?

Raju: [nods his head in the affirmative] Nineteen people were released simultaneously…

‘The RSS Will Tell You How Chharas Killed Muslims’

Transcript: PRAKASH RATHOD & SURESH RICHARD

The Sangh succeeded in mobilising the under class during the riots. Rathod and Richard proved their worth at Naroda Patiya

 

AUGUST 12, 2007

TEHELKA: Are some of the Patiya accused still in jail?

Rathod: No, not from Patiya…

TEHELKA: Bipin Panchal [a BJP worker] is still inside, isn’t he?

Rathod: Bipin is out… Only one is in, Shashikant alias Tunia…

TEHELKA: Where does Bipin stay?

Rathod: He used to stay in Krishna Nagar, but now nobody knows…

TEHELKA: He was here that time…

Rathod: He was… All the boys were with him — he was distributing samaan [weapons]...

TEHELKA: Swords etc?… The Chharas rioted with lathis…

Rathod: No, no, some of them had talwars and trishuls… You know that guy Suresh Richard whom you met, he had every kind of weapons except revolvers…

TEHELKA: Enough to distribute?

Rathod: There was this man called Gudda… He is in jail… He had been let out on parole but he ran away, so he’s in jail for that… He killed a lot of people too… He showed great daring…

TEHELKA: Where was Bipin that day?

Rathod:We were all scattered at first… Then came Bipin Panchal… There were lots of people with him… They all entered saying Shri Ram, Shri Ram, they have killed our brothers and now we have to teach them a lesson… When the fires started, the Muslims also gathered…

TEHELKA: The Muslims…

Rathod: Then we beat them and made them run… One or two of them were thrown into [the fire]…

TEHELKA: Suresh Richard was part of the mob…

Rathod: He fought very well, so did Gudda and Naresh Chhara… They were tireless… The Muslims are scared of Richard… Even the police is scared of him… If he wasn’t handicapped, he’d have…

• • •

TEHELKA: Are all of you happy with the VHP…

Rathod: Who comes here now from the VHP… Only Babu Bajrangi still bothers to find out about us… We got out of jail before he did… Babubhai was the last released… but he used to ask about us even from jail … What sangathan... Our women fought like the Rani of Jhansi… We [the Chharas] went first… The VHP followed us… Nobody could have done what we did… We filled well after well… we burned enough [people] to fill tractors…

Richard: I swear by my children... I swear by the Mata that if we had not been there, at least 30 to 35 Hindus would have been killed…

• • •

Richard: [On the day of the massacre] we did whatever we did till quite late in the evening… at around 7.30… around 7.15, our Modibhai came… Right here, outside the house… My sisters garlanded him with roses…

TEHELKA: Narendrabhai Modi…

Richard: Narendra Modi… He came with black commandos… got down from his Ambassador car and walked up here…. All my sisters garlanded him… a big man is a big man after all…

TEHELKA: He came out on the road?

Richard: Here, near this house… Then he went this way… Looked at how things were in Naroda…

TEHELKA: The day the Patiya incident happened…

Richard: The same evening…

TEHELKA: February 28…

Richard: 28…

TEHELKA: 2002…

Richard: He went around to all the places… He said our tribe was blessed… He said our mothers were blessed [for bearing us]…

TEHELKA: He came at about 5 o’clock or at 7?

Richard: Around 7 or 7.30… At that time there was no electricity… Everything had been burnt to ashes in the riots…

• • •

 



Richard:We’d finished burning everything and had returned… That was when the police called us… They said some Muslims were hiding in this sewer… When we went there, we saw their houses had been completely burned down but seven or eight of them had hidden in the gutter… We shut the lid on it… If we’d gone in after them, we might have been in danger… We closed the lid and weighted it down with big boulders… Later, they found eight or ten corpses in there… They’d gone there to save their lives, but... they died of the gases down there… This happened in the evening… the dhamal [killing spree] went till night, till about 8.30…

TEHELKA: So you went in again….

Richard:We were inside… By evening, things had cooled down… We were tired also… After all, a man gets tired out… Hurling stones, beating with pipes, stabbing, all this… The way we came out from inside could only be done by a man of strong heart…

• • •

Richard: Mayaben was moving around all day in an open jeep…

TEHELKA: On the day of the Patiya massacre…

Richard: [She was saying] Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Ram… wearing a saffron headband… She kept raising slogans… She said, carry on with your work, I’m here [to protect you]… She was wearing a white sari and had on a saffron band… I had also tied on a saffron band…

• • •

Richard: Batteries were burning… gas cylinders were burning…. Some pigs were sleeping under a truck…. We killed a pig, four or five of us Chharas got together and killed the pig… Then we hung the pig up from the mosque and raised a saffron flag… Eight or 10 of us climbed on top… We tried hard but the masjid didn’t break…

• • •

Richard: One of our brothers brought a tanker… from Thakar Nagar crossroad…. He’d killed Muslims and brought the tanker. It was put in reverse and the mosque was broken… [It burst] like water out of a fire engine... Petrol was thrown and then it was burnt…

TEHELKA: who brought the tanker?

Richard: A brother brought it...

TEHELKA: From the VHP...

Richard: Not that… He was a Hindu brother… Those who were inside… they were all finished …

TEHELKA: It is being said the Chharas also committed rapes…

Richard: Now look, one thing is true… bhookhe ghuse to koi na koi to phal khayega, na [when thousands of hungry men go in, they will eat some fruit or the other, no]… Aise bhi, phal ko kuchal ke phek denge [in any case, the fruit are going to be crushed and thrown away]... Look, I’m not telling lies… Mata is before me [gesturing to an image of a deity]… Many Muslim girls were being killed and burnt to death anyway, some people must have helped themselves to the fruit…

TEHELKA: There must have been a couple of rapes…

Richard: Might even have been more… then there were the rest of our brothers, our Hindu brothers, VHP people and RSS people… Anyone could have helped themselves… who wouldn’t, when there’s fruit?… The more you harm them, the less it is… I really hate them… don’t want to spare them… Look, my wife is sitting here but let me say…the fruit was there so it had to be eaten… I also ate… I also ate… I ate once

TEHELKA: Just once?

Richard: Just once… then I had to go killing again… [turns to relative Prakash Rathod and talks about the girl he had raped and killed]… That scrap-dealer’s girl, Naseemo… Naseemo that juicy plump one… I got on top…

TEHELKA: You got on top of her…

Richard: Yes, properly…

TEHELKA: She didn’t survive, did she?

Richard: No, then I pulped her… Made her into a pickle…

• • •

Richard: Today, I will say something... If you have a child and I put him into the fire… your soul will burn, won’t it... Those who survived have called me the cripple who burnt their children… Some survived…by putting a tika on their foreheads… or by hiding in a hut…

TEHELKA: Passing off as Hindus…

Richard: A crowd came saying Jai Shri Ram… but we knew who was from which community… So then we killed them, ask the RSS and Bajrang Dal people… they will tell you that the Chharas were picking out the Muslims and killing them… marking them down one by one …

‘It Should Be Something History Has Never Seen’

Transcript: DEEPAK SHAH

A senior Vadodara BJP leader reveals how ‘revenge’ was planned the very day of the Sabarmati Express incident

 

MAY 20, 2007

TEHELKA: What time did you reach Baroda [from Godhra]?…

Deepak Shah:We got there at about three, four o clock…

TEHELKA: After admitting the injured to hospital …

Shah:We had gone with a big ambulance… went straight to the hospital… got them admitted… Then we met the Godhra MP, Gopal Singh … met the train collector also… The directives were clearly given to the police… to the MP also … the directives were very clear… that no Hindu is to be arrested now… catch all the Muslims… don’t talk to us about balance… “balance” is something we’ll do later… Just take the force now and teach them a lesson…

TEHELKA: In Godhra?

Shah:We went to a lot of places… Everybody’s views were zabardast [fierce]... Jaideepbhai from the VHP was also there… All our workers had gathered on
the road… there was tremendous fury… They seemed to have made up their minds then itself that this time they were not going to spare the Muslims… When we reached Baroda too, it was a curfew-like situation because everyone had come to know through the media of the terrible incident that had happened… The anger was so spontaneous… that even on the way, wherever there was a Muslim shop or house, it was burnt …

TEHELKA: How was it all organised…

Shah: For the next two days in Baroda, everyone just targeted… whoever they could… as many as possible… even in remote areas like Manzarpur... Areas like Alkapuri and Gotri have never even seen stonepelting... such areas which have no history whatsoever of riots… in those areas, people selectively targeted all the Muslim shops and burnt them …

TEHELKA:Were you at the meeting held in Baroda that night?

Shah: Yes… I went for that meeting too… The general sentiment was that if we did not retaliate even after such a big incident and if we just backed down quietly, then they would be encouraged to spread terror… They can do anything… First we gave a bandh call…

TEHELKA: Only VHP people attended the meeting….

Shah: No, no, everybody was there…There were people from the Sangh Parivar… from the Sangathan… the Mandal … you know, people who participate in any big event organized by the VHP… All the youth wings were also invited…

TEHELKA: Fifty to sixty people were there in the meeting …

Shah: The number was higher… around 100–150

TEHELKA: Like in Ahmedabad, where the meeting was held at some guesthouse…

Shah: Yes, it was held here at the Narmada guest house …

TEHELKA: Narmada guesthouse… Did anyone spell out anything specific?

Shah: Everyone expressed their views… [the view was] itihaas me kabhi sakshi na ho aisa hona chahiye [it should be something history has not witnessed)…

TEHELKA: Dhimantbhai was telling me about the strategy… about constituting a team of lawyers …

Shah: Correct… because the police will conduct an inquiry… So [we had to think of] what we would do to protect our people…

TEHELKA: So who were there in the legal team?

Shah: Sanjaybhai Joshi was there… Neeraj Jain was there...

TEHELKA: Rajendra Trivedi was there?

Shah: Rajendra Trivedi was there… Pankaj Chabar …Tushar Vyas…

TEHELKA: Who was used in the attack?

Shah: There are warring communities… the Kharvas… the Baakris… They always come forward at such times… They are meat-eating people … they have the tools and they usually lead from the front… So they were channelised … There were Kahars… A lot of Rabaris were there this time… Bhadris, Parmars and
Marathi-speaking people, who have a lot of passion…

TEHELKA: Dhimantbhai was telling me that a peace committee was formed just to mislead everyone, and that committee moulded rods and pipes and distributed them…

Shah: Whatever was needed was given… After all, it was a battle for faith…

‘The Smallest Village Wasn’t Spared’

Transcript: ANIL PATEL

VHP leader Anil Patel says even Congress workers joined in the attacks, and that senior police officers were very helpful

 

JUNE 13, 2007

Anil Patel: You ask me questions and I will answer…

TEHELKA: I don’t know much about this area…

Patel: Let me tell you about this district, Sabarkantha. The maximum number of FIRs were filed here, after Godhra. I know because I handled all the cases on behalf of the VHP. There were 40 murders, 60 murders here…

TEHELKA: In Dhansura alone?

Patel: No, in Sabarkantha. All of Sabarkantha. As for setting villages ablaze, even the smallest one was not spared… Not even one Muslim home was spared in the entire district. At nine in the morning on February 27, I got to know that the train had been burnt but when I saw it on TV, I realised it was a big incident and that there would be a big reaction… Then a message came from the state office saying that the next day a bandh would be observed… Then I met a friend who asked me how we would respond

TEHELKA:Was he a Muslim?

Patel: No, he’s Hindu… I told him that the entire world would watch what we would do the next day. At 10 that night, I received a call from the [VHP] office asking me to identify the bodies of the 16 karsevaks who belonged to my district. I was asked to inform their families and arrange for the bodies to be taken to their homes. The first reaction to Godhra happened from my district, from village Badgaon near Dhansura. The stabbing that happened at Baroda railway station… that was carried out by a worker from Badgaon. Then there was a stabbing at Anand station — that was also done by one of our cadres with a trishul. And when our activists returned, they took an oath at the main square that the next day itself, they would give a befitting reply.

TEHELKA:Were only the Parishad workers present?

Patel: No, the entire Hindu community had got together. Even the Congress joined us. The BJP was also there. Some Congress supporters — every village has four or five — were not with us and were busy trying to protect the Muslims. There was an MLA, Haribhai Patel — he has expired since — who tried to protect the Muslims. There was another guy, Jagrobhai Mistri, a very rich man, who was also trying to save the Muslims… There was this other incident when the violence was going on… The photos of a nude girl were found in the house of a Muslim, Bapu Hajim… they were of one of our Hindu girls… fully naked… the girl was naked and so was Hajim… We found six or seven photos like this… We showed them to Haribhai and told him, look at what the Muslim is doing… He got up and walked away.

TEHELKA: Hari of the Congress…

Patel: Yes… There is also one Arvind Jai Singh here… he also… Muslims…

TEHELKA: How were the activists motivated?

Patel: The incident was being repeated on TV. The killing of the karsevaks was being played and replayed [throughout the day]. All of us, including the Congressmen felt that we [Hindus] had been attacked. They did everything alongside us, even triggered the bomb to demolish the mosque …

TEHELKA: A masjid was demolished in Dhansura

Patel: One maulvi was killed. The mosque was destroyed. There was only one mosque here.

TEHELKA: The maulvi was burnt…

Patel: Hmm...

TEHELKA:Was he burnt alive?

Patel: No, they took him away… [makes a gesture of beheading someone]

TEHELKA: With a sword…

Patel: No, with an axe… After I visited the hospital [where the karsevaks’ bodies had been kept] and returned at four in the morning, I had decided that if there were no reaction that day, then I would leave the VHP.

TEHELKA: Yes… it had become a question of prestige…

Patel: I would not work unless 500 Muslims were killed… After everything was over, I thought to myself that others too had thought like me… At that time, I decided that the responsibility of hitting back was ours. They burnt our sisters and brothers, they too would be burnt alive…

TEHELKA: Children too?

Patel: Lock them indoors and just set them on fire… Kill the entire family. We’ll take care of whatever happens after that… Bolt the doors so no one can escape. I said, we will take responsibility for whatever happens afterwards…

TEHELKA: So houses were burnt here in Dhansura…

Patel: Many… there were 126 properties in Dhansura… they were all destroyed. In the entire district, there was only one village where 75 percent Muslims didn’t return…

TEHELKA: Didn’t return…
• • •
TEHELKA: In Ahmedabad, bombs were made in Hareshbhai’s own factory. How did it work here?

Patel: There are a lot of boring industries here, because of which dynamite is available… Then, we also had some experts. They made [explosives] and supplied them to Ahmedabad as well…

TEHELKA: Ahmedabad?
Patel:We supplied from here also

Patel: During the day, I had said, do something, but I wasn’t sure

TEHELKA: Not sure?

Patel: I was very tired… mental tension… there were so many phone calls coming. At about 1, I got a call saying that about 2,500 people had gathered at Bayad road…

TEHELKA: Bayad road?

Patel: So I went to Bayad and told them that our people had been burnt to death and they were now to do whatever they wanted. Go to the villages and kill. After that, 30 incidents happened. From Bayad, I came to Dhansura and Dhansura was also up in flames. The arson was initiated by our workers but gradually everyone joined in… Some were opposed. Like Congress guys Praful… Sangram Singh in Modasa… Munnabhai in Sathamba… They tried to save [the Muslims]. The Congress guys tried to protest, but the majority were with us…

TEHELKA: The majority were with you. Any activists who were in the forefront?

Patel: The activists did everything... They killed, they hacked …

TEHELKA: Did [DSP] Solanki lend full support…

Patel: [mumbles a name]

TEHELKA: Who?

Patel: Someone called Mansoori, who was a SIMI sympathiser…

TEHELKA: SIMI is a terrorist organisation….

Patel: He [Mansoori] was a vegetable vendor. He was hacked to death… At night, I got a call from Arvindbhai Soni, our co-minister, saying this incident has happened. I asked him if he was at the spot and he said no, but some Bajrang Dal brothers were there. I told him to stay at some safe place and to be cautious. The next morning I got to know that Arvindbhai had been arrested… I went to Biloda and called the DSP [District Superintendent of Police] … Both Jayantibhai and I went to meet the DSP and he said he’d release Arvindbhai... Everything was there on paper, in the arrest report, but when Arvindbhai was to be transferred to judicial custody, he was told to go back to the [VHP] office...

TEHELKA: Go to the office…

Patel: He stayed in the office for a month and a half…
• • •
TEHELKA: The main contribution was the VHP’s and the Bajrang Dal’s…

Patel: I and the Sangh did a lot… the Sangh did it without being asked… Many Sangh workers also went to jail… There is a village nearby called Sathambha… the taluk executive was booked under Section 302 [IPC]… there is still a case against him in Modasa for killing a Muslim woman… There is Amrudhbhai… he also did a lot of good work… he is the taluk executive

TEHELKA: What’s his name?

Patel: Amrudhbhai Prajapati…

TEHELKA: Is he still in jail?…

Patel: He is out on bail now…

TEHELKA: He is from the Sangh?

Patel: He is VHP President, district Modasa. Another man, Ashokbhai Patel, he also went to jail…

TEHELKA: He is also from the VHP…

Patel: Yes, from the VHP... A lot of people tried their best to get me booked too, but ND Solanki, Arvindbhai Brahmbhat and Pravinbhai Togadia and the caution I exercised [saved me]… Later on, I looked after everybody in jail and organised their food and looked after their cases…

• • •

Patel: Strategy… there was no strategy as such… The main thing was to give a befitting retaliation, to harm as many Muslims as possible, in whatever manner… by burning them, killing them… Educated activists knew what was to be done… but the public felt that even breaking a door meant furthering the cause of Hindutva…

TEHELKA: Muslims were killed in Dhansura…

Patel: The maulvi was killed…

TEHELKA: You were in-charge of the entire district?

Patel: I was looking after three four taluks… Dhansura, Bayad, Meghraj, Maalpur, Modasa…

TEHELKA: How many Muslims were killed in these taluks?

Patel: More than 30...

TEHELKA: Some are missing as well…

Patel: In Bayad, they are missing … 60 drivers from Modasa never came back…

TEHELKA: Truck drivers…

Patel: From Mumbai…
• • •
Patel: Our Pravinbhai Togadia… did it at the district level…

TEHELKA: Did you speak to him?

Patel: Yes...

TEHELKA: Then during the riots…

Patel: Be careful with whatever you do. He told me about the cases also… that the main workers should not be jailed… because it would affect the morale of the workers… that it’s okay if the goonda elements were booked because we would be able to bail them out… But our main workers were not to get booked… this is what he told me… They were booked, though. Amrudhbhai got [Section] 302… The Modasa district president was also charged… It’s like this… I felt that several people went to jail even after the events…
• • •
Patel: Modasa was one village in which the Muslims had the upper hand over Hindus... They had attacked one of our Bajrang Dal associates… Later some 60-70 Muslim shops were burnt… But after Godhra, we stayed on top of them…



 
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Conspirators & Rioters

 

‘We Dragged Them Out Of Their Houses’

Transcript: MANGILAL JAIN

Jain joined in the slaughter which began as soon as Inspector Erda told the mob at Gulbarg that it had three hours

 

SEPTEMBER 8, 2007

TEHELKA:
What was the name of that inspector you were talking about.

Mangilal Jain: Erda…

TEHELKA: Erda…what did he do?

Jain: He supported us… The police kept away from public that day.

TEHELKA: Kept away from Muslims?

Jain: Public… kept away from Hindus… They [the police] told us that everything should be finished within 2-3 hours.

TEHELKA: That means they gave you 2-3 hours …

Jain: To finish…

TEHELKA: Finish everything…

Jain: This was happening across all of Ahmedabad. [It was understood] no outsider would come. Even reinforcements weren’t going to come… the forces wouldn’t get there till evening… so all the work should be done.

TEHELKA: He told you to do it all in two to three hours…

Jain: He [Erda] said it and the mob went berserk. Some started looting. Others started killing… Someone dragged a man out and hacked him down and burned him… A lot of this kind of stuff happened…

TEHELKA: So… did only people from the society get killed or were there other Muslims also?

Jain: No sir… people from outside also got killed. There are Muslims living on the streets all around the society… they are poor people… these are rich people [indicating those who lived in Gulbarg society]… These street dwellers are labourers, mechanics and factory workers… Whenever the situation would get tense, Ehsan Jafri would call everyone in. There was a masjid inside… and every year he would arrange for them to be fed. Whenever a riot broke out, all these people would take shelter inside.… He was very capable. He would make just one call and the police would land up. There was always an SRP [State Reserve Police Force] post at this place. So people would feel safe there.

TEHELKA: So that day you were just one of the crowd… raising the slogan of Jai Shri Ram…

Jain: Just chanting Jai Shri Ram was giving people an adrenaline rush. I was there with a lot of friends, sir, Jai Shri Ram.…

TEHELKA: So who were our people who took part in the killing?

Jain: Look, sir... there were a lot of faces whom I didn’t know at all… Bharat Teli, Atul Vaid and many other people were there. They came from far away places like Bapu Nagar and Meghaninagar…

TEHELKA: Bharat Teli and Atul Vaid did a lot of fighting?

Jain: These were the people in groups sir… there were a lot of young people with them… that day, there was a mob of 50,000 people… How could we know who was who? These are the kinds of people who have a lot of exuberance, those who are non-vegetarian. Those are the people who could be so cruel.

TEHELKA: So… how did we chop off these Muslims?

Jain: They were dragged out of their houses. Someone cut them down… another set them ablaze. Fire was already there… petrol.

TEHELKA: So petrol was available…

Jain: Petrol and kerosene were brought… by these people. They came in the vehicles. [They said] Come with us… there is riot… our Hindu brothers are being attacked… come…

TEHELKA: These were our Vishwa Hindu Parishad people?

Jain: Yes… They came in huge numbers… in vehicles… in whatever mode of transport they could get… they surrounded everything and that Lanka was completely destroyed… There were all the people from the neighbourhoods nearby inside… Whoever was seen, was killed. There was a basement… people who took shelter there survived… there were 70-80 of them…

TEHELKA: People hid there?

Jain: Yes, they hid… In the evening, when it was discovered that there were people inside, then they were taken to a safe place… Eighty to ninety people were killed… Ninety must have been killed… but only those whose dead bodies were recovered were reported and could be identified. Many people were reported missing… Jafri’s body could not be recovered. He was burnt… nothing of him was found.





Sam / / 3 weeks ago
Sam

The media is totally biased on Modi and Godhra. The west has always had double standards when it comes to race but makes a lot of noise about Indian caste system.

To draw a parallel with Modi/Godhra and Obama/Furguson,MO. The media should call the governor of MO and Obama criminals just like they did Modi for Godhra. This time around it is the government forces against the blacks whereas in Godhra the government was only involved in keeping peace and not in a direct fight.

The US Govt. should now repeal Obama's citizenship, the proof of which is elusive. And what is more confusing to me is Obama is the only Hussein who is not a Muslim and a Christian. Don't we love double standards of the west.

The West reveres the Queen of England, and the Emporer of Japan, the families that is responsible for the deaths of millions of Asians but will call Hitler a demon. What a western world!


khadir / / 1 year ago
khadir

because of a few fanatical ideologies, the innocent victims in both the communities have suffered and suffering ; if modi is proved to have turned a blind eye to the massacres wantonly , he should be stripped of all political positions , stand trial like a common man in the court , and face punishment for his cruel and hidden deeds ( if proved ). now i feel he has become world famous in the muslim world and i presume that some hot head may be trying to catch up with him sooner or later. may God Almighty protect the good people and disgace and rot out the bad and ugly people from the face of this beautiful earth.


ibu4ever / / 3 yrs ago
ibu4ever

hi friend,
today im Muslim too, giving warning to the community and advice them to do good in the path of truth is the speech in mosque & madarasa ... not a hate speech of other religion (what rss pore in ur mind) what had happen in gujrath must be aware of modi government and rss ... its not a reaction against godra but its a well organized riots with government security to rss terrorist to do riots.... so as a chief minister he must asame of it (godra & riot) and he must away from the political if he did so we also proud of modi but he never did....



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