SO WHAT ABOUT THE RAPES IN MODI’S GUJARAT?

She was raped outside our house by men who pulled her out, pulling out her clothes in the verandah. She was totally helpless because of her pregnancy

Hardnews Bureau Delhi

The mob killed my mother Abida Bibi. They flung my seven-year old niece Gulnaz Bano into the fire. She died. My sister Saeeda died of burns at the hospital the next day. I was attacked by swords and lost my 11-month-old daughter while trying to flee. I found her at the Shah Alam camp two months later,” says Naimuddin. His wife Naseem (name changed) was gangraped by four men; her left arm chopped off with a sword.

… It was only in 2010, when special court judge Jyotsna Yagnik started hearing witnesses’ testimonies that Naimuddin persuaded Naseem to give her statement, the only woman to survive gangrape among the hundreds of victims of brutal sexual violence at Naroda Patiya…

— ‘A Partial Sense of Closure,’ The Hindu, September 6, 2012

...My wife who was nine months pregnant was raped, cut and burnt. It was my biggest failure that I couldn’t save her. I have never spoken to anyone about her after her death… Those who raped her were not human. Even executioners would have felt ashamed, they didn’t… Some men were running out screaming ‘riots’. I saw the Noorani Masjid burning. I froze that moment... did not know what to do. I just wanted to save Hina as I knew she couldn’t run from there. Three-four times I tried to enter, but failed... Hina did not know anything about this place, people and never picked up the local language. She was raped outside our house by men who pulled her out, pulling out her clothes in the verandah. She was totally helpless because of her pregnancy.” 

— Firoz, husband of Hina Kausar Bano, 22, raped and murdered at Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad, February 28, 2002. Five other members of Firoz’s family were butchered.

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’,
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 kilometre 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’,
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 seven 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’,
PUDR Report

...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.

Also, 12-year-old Noorjahan was 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.

 

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: JANUARY 2013