FLASHBACK: GUJARAT GENOCIDE 2002- TEN YEARS AFTER

The killing fields. The mass slaughter. The ravaged human soul and body. Memory comes back, as dark memory. And brings with it, unhealed wounds. Also, the hidden scream: AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!

District Dahod: ...A group of 17 ran from village to village (Chundagi to Khudra to Chaparwad). One of them, Shamim, delivered a baby girl at a mosque where they were taking shelter for the night... At Khudra, they stayed with adivasis who protected them and gave Shamim clothes to change, but they had to leave again. As they were going from Chaparwad to Panivel, village men from Randhikpur and Chaparwad came in two cars, gang-raped the women and then killed them. Shamim, who had delivered a day before and her child were also killed. Bilkees, a five month pregnant young woman, was gang-raped by three men from her village. Her three-year-old daughter was snatched away from her and killed in front of her... No traces of the remains of the dead bodies, not even the ashes of the people burnt alive, are left behind for the relatives to recover...
From 'Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo', a PUDR Report

District Dahod: ...Stone throwing continued as people were going away in trucks. Kadar Mohammad Bhatiyara, a tailor, had his jaw dislocated by a heavy stone. At least six children... age 2-6, and one middle aged woman, were stoned to death en route from Sanjeli to Dahod... One Tempo (709) containing 80-100 people had a puncture a km out of Sanjeli, caused by the large nails on the roads, and then another puncture 8 km away near village Rainiya. At Rainiya, they were attacked by a Tata Sumo containing nine men equipped with swords, stones, iron pipes. Four people who had got down, all Bohras, were killed and burnt. Two women – Zainab ben Burhanbhai Mulla Meetha and Fatima Murtaza Gadbadawala – were also raped before being killed. The killers included leaders of the VHP and Bajrang Dal and were identified by six people hiding in the bushes...
From 'Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo', a PUDR Report

District Mehsana: ...In Kaziwada one Ashrafbhai was attacked by the mob and struck with a sword. His sister Zainabbibi and his neighbours Hanifbhai and Yunusbhai Mansuri took him in a hand cart to the Civil Hospital, Visnagar. The attackers caught them in the Civil Hospital. Yunusbhai escaped... Zainabbibi, Hanif and Ashrafbhai were taken to the third floor of the hospital and thrown down from there. While Ashraf and Hanif died, Zainabibi did not die the first time round so she was dragged up the stairs and thrown again. Then acid was thrown on the bodies, and they were also slashed with swords...

From 'Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo', a PUDR Report

District Mehsana: ...In Sardarpura, Taluka Vijapur, 31 people, mostly women and children, had taken shelter in a house in the Sheikh locality. The mob surrounded the house, locked them into a room, and threw acid at them through openings in the room. The metal conductor, an iron rod attached by a wire to the newly installed halogen light, was shoved inside the room packed with Muslims and electric current was passed through it. The device was moved around in the room and used to electrocute 29 persons to death. Two children who fell beneath the pile of bodies of the dead survived the attack...
From 'Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo', a PUDR Report

District Panchmahal: ...First they told the petrified Muslims that they would not kill them and gave them water to drink. Then they asked them to leave. Just as they started to leave, they attacked them from behind and hacked and burnt 10 people. According to one account, 13-year-old Yasmeen, the daughter of Mohd Ibrahim, was gang raped before she was killed. In a symbolic act of conversion, the dead were put into a pile and set on fire. Ten and 12-year-old Hameed and Aijaz, the sons of Kulsum Ayyub (who was also killed) were made to go around the pyre and shout 'Jai Shri Ram'. They were then shoved into the fire. Only one survivor, Javed, managed to reach the main road, where someone he knew helped him to reach Kalol...
From 'Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo', a PUDR Report

District Panchmahal: ...In Eral, Taluka Kalol, Madina survived because she managed to hide in the fields of standing maize and could not be seen by the attackers. She saw them kill 7 people in front of her and also chop off a two-year-old child Taufiq's thumb. From where she hid, she also saw them rape her own daughter Shabana, and cut off her breast before killing her...

From 'Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo', a PUDR Report

Gulberg Society: ...The attack on Gulberg society, which was home to Ehsan Jaffrey, former trade unionist and MP of the Congress party, was launched with military precision from 7.30am to 4.30pm on Thursday, February 28... At about 10.30am, police commissioner Pandey, with Ambalal Nadia, the Congress mahamantri, Ward No 19, and Kannulal Solanki from Ward No 20, visited Jaffrey and gave him a personal assurance that they would send reinforcements and that he would be fully protected. Within five minutes of the CP's departure, at 10.35am, the Zahir Bakery and an autorickshaw just outside Gulberg society were burnt. The stoning of Gulberg society began around 11.15-11.30 a.m. Forty-five minutes later, at about 12.15-12.30pm, stones, acid bulbs, bottles and petrol bombs were thrown at Gulberg society from the rear side... The volley of huge stones, acid bulbs, burning cloth balls, continued until 1-1.15pm. Around 1pm, one Yusuf, a resident of the society, was caught, cut up and torched. Fear among the residents had mounted. By this time there were nearly 80 persons in Jaffrey's house. Amid shouts of 'Ghusijao' (Get in!), between 2.30-2.45pm, suddenly the gate at the rear end of the society, near the railway tracks, was broken down. Between 2.30-2.45pm, Ehsan Jaffrey, who was clearly a specific target, allowed himself to be dragged out of his own house. There, just outside the home that he had so painfully created, for 45 minutes, he was brutally dismembered and then finally decapitated. He was stripped, paraded naked, and asked to say, 'Vande Mataram!' and 'Jai Shri Ram!' He refused. His fingers were chopped off and he was paraded around in the locality, badly injured. Next, his hands and feet were chopped off. He was then dragged, a fork-like instrument clutching his neck, down the road, before being thrown into the fire. A man who had devoted his life to public service, had met a brutal end. In this attack, Jaffrey was killed along with his three brothers and two nephews... At this time, 2.45pm, Anwar, another resident, was also killed. The main accused brought in logs from the nearby Sansar Bakery and began, ominously, to prepare four funeral pyres. Anwar was killed and then cut up into pieces and burnt... After this, Shafi Mohammed Munawar Sheikh was also cut into three pieces, and burnt alive. It was between 3.30-4.30pm that 10-12 women were first raped, then cut into pieces with guptis, and then thrown into fire...

From Crime Against Humanity, a report by Citizens for Justice and Peace

Naroda Patiya: ...That morning, a large mob of 5,000 to 10,000 people dressed in half-pants (khaki chaddies) and saffron vests (banians) with black bandanas tied around their heads, set upon the hapless minority residents of the area. They were armed with spears, swords, acid bombs and petrol bombs. They used gas cylinders for their work. The assaulters were mixing petrol with some solvent. According to the evidence gathered, diesel and petrol used was from the ST warehouse, too. They first attacked the Noorani Masjid in the area and began to burn it with the help of LPG cylinders, tyres, petrol and kerosene. In self-defence, Naroda residents resorted to stone throwing. The police then fired at the community under attack. Four persons were killed and two injured in the police firing. It was around 10-10.30am that the minaret of the Noorani Masjid was destroyed. During the first attack, the family of Shabir Ahmed Khushid Ahmed and Mehmood Ahmed Khushid Ahmed were burnt alive. The mobs were attacking Hussain Nagar and Jawaharlal Nagar in Naroda. One of the elderly witnesses who deposed before the Tribunal testified that after the first attack on the mosque, when the persons attacked were running towards safety into their homes, the assailants overtook them and burnt 2-3 people. One of the first to be so burnt was a physically handicapped youth. He was a Madrasi Muslim lad from Hajira, about 20-25 years old. They put him in a small paan-kiosk/shop, put petrol on him and burnt him... The victim-survivors ran into their homes and remained there till around 3pm. By this time the attack had intensified and, instead of using a single bullet at the leaders of the assault at Naroda, the police was firing at the victims. It was between 5 and 6pm, when the mob was at the height of its frenzy, that many women and girls of Naroda Gaon and Patiya were first raped and then doused in kerosene and petrol and burnt... This witness and many others testified to the taunting demeanour of the SRP men who did not help them at all. In fact, many were whistling at the victims from their location up there, jeering and laughing. They were also playing religious songs (mandir ke gaane, bhajans) on the tape recorder, blasting them at full volume...

From Crime Against Humanity, a report by Citizens for Justice and Peace

Naroda Patiya: ...Dozens of eyewitnesses who deposed before the Tribunal described gory incidents where children were burnt alive and women were raped. One woman, Kauser Bano, who was nine-months pregnant, had her belly cut open and her foetus wrenched out, then swung on the edge of a sword before being dashed to the ground and flung into the fire. According to eyewitness accounts, at least two more women were subjected to a similar fate... The Tribunal also recorded the testimony of an eyewitness to the rape of Khairunissa, daughter of Marukh Bano. An animal-like mob of 11 raped her. Soon after the brutal act, they burnt the family alive one by one. The mother's head was cut off. Those bodies of this family that could be found were in a horrifying brutalised condition...An eyewitness to the murder of 6-year-old Imran also deposed before the Tribunal. The witness described how petrol instead of water was poured into the mouth of 6-year-old Imran. A lit matchstick was then thrown into his mouth and the child just blasted apart...
From Crime Against Humanity, a report by Citizens for Justice and Peace

...The mob started chasing us with burning tyres after we were forced to leave Gangotri society. It was then that they raped many girls. We saw about 8-10 rapes. We saw them strip 16-year-old Mehrunissa. They were stripping themselves and beckoning to the girls. Then they raped them right there on the road. We saw a girl's vagina being slit open. Then they were burnt. Now there is no evidence...

Kulsum Bibi, Shah Alam Camp, Ahmedabad, March 27, 2002

...I saw Farzana being raped by Guddu Chara. Farzana was about 13. She was a resident of Hussain Nagar. They put a saria (rod) in Farzana's stomach. She was later burnt. 12 year old Noorjahan was also raped. The rapists were Guddu, Suresh and Naresh Chara and Haria. I also saw Bhawani Singh, who works in the State Transport Department kill 5 men and a boy...
Azharuddin, 13, Gangotri Society, Ahmedabad

...The mob, which came from Chara Nagar and Kuber Nagar, started burning people at around 6 in the evening. The mob stripped all the girls of the locality, including my 22-year-old daughter, and raped them. My daughter was engaged to be married. Seven members of my family were burnt including my wife (aged 40), my sons (aged 18, 14 and 7) and my daughters (aged 2, 4 and 22). My eldest daughter, who later died in the civil hospital, told me that those who raped her were wearing shorts. They hit her on the head and then burnt her. She died of 80 per cent burn injuries...
Abdul Usman, testimony recorded by Citizens Initiative

...There was a natural ghrina (hatred) and aakrosh (anger) in the heart of every Hindu and we could not control it...
BJP leader and ex-Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani

...The most damaging of these is an alleged secret RSS circular listing ways of killing or debilitating minorities. The economic boycott theme figures again and was found to be circulating by chain distribution in Sadhari, Pali district, Rajasthan. The Express, March 24 (Delhi edition) reports the police seizure of a pamphlet urging Hindus to create a 'jagrut Hindu rashtra', allegedly circulated by the Bajrang Dal president, Hastimal, who is said to have been arrested. The theme: 'Don't purchase anything from Muslim shops, don't travel in their vehicles or visit their garages; don´t watch films which feature Muslim stars. In this way we can break their financial backbone.' The same news item says that the police seized a pamphlet in tribal-dominated Banswara, exhorting Hindus to hang a saffron flag outside their homes to help identification during Moharram...
From Editors Guild Report

...On the day of the massacre, (Suresh) Richard told Tehelka, BJP MLA Mayaben Kodnani drove around Naroda, exhorting the rioters to kill as many as they could. Worse yet, Bajrangi revealed that he had been giving VHP general secretary Jaideep Patel a blow-by-blow account of the massacre on his mobile phone. He said he made 11 calls to Patel, providing him the latest death toll each time, until his phone went dead. That evening, Bajrangi says, he also called up then Minister of State for Home Gordhan Zadaphia, and told him how many he had killed and said that it was now up to Zadaphia to keep him out of trouble with the law... He didn't manage to meet Narendra Modi when he visited the locality that evening. Modi never made it into the interior of Naroda Patiya, says Bajrangi. 'Not even God had the power to enter Naroda Patiya that day...'
Tehelka, November 2, 2007

...Every action has an equal and opposite reaction...
Narendra Modi, The Times of India, March 3, 2002

Complied by Sadiq Naqvi Delhi 

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: OCTOBER 2011

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