Even the Gujarat carnage remained confined to a few cities in one state, and when Islamic terrorists killed more than thirty Gujarati Hindu worshippers in the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar only a few months later, there was no Hindu retaliation, in accordance with the old pattern. For all the latest What Is News, download Indian Express App. FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES- GODHRA AND AFTER- A Field Study By Justice D. S. Tewatia, Dr. J. C. Batra, Dr. Krishan Singh Arya, Shri Jawahar Lal Kaul, Prof. B. K. Kuthiala. Those who had seen the charred bodies shiver even weeks after the incident while recalling the gory scene. No one talks about the fact that we maintained absolute peace even after that provocation. Unfortunately, these bizarre stories about the self-ignition of the coach were given respectability by the then Railway Minister Lalu Yadav who appointed the one-man committee in September 2004 under retired judge U.C. As soon as the media persons moved away, she instantly stopped howling. A genuine pogrom was, however, what triggered them: Muslims setting a train wagon on fire, killing 58 Hindu pilgrims. Godhra train fire: Lawyers slam Nanavati report Pointed out contradictions in the conclusion of the Nanavati report on the 2002 Godhra train burning case, the lawyers are saying that the commission was a pure political eyewash. The Banerjee Committee also argued that the mob at Signal Falia consisted of “innocent” bystanders and that the fire could have been either due to stove burst or electrical short circuit. 59 karsevaks were burnt to death in a most horrifying manner. Here’s all you need to know about the 2002 Godhra train burning case: On the morning of February 27, 2002, a coach of the the Sabarmati Express — Coach S6 — was set ablaze and 59 passengers travelling in that coach were charred to death. Koenraad Elst: Religious Cleansing of Hindus, 2004, in: Elst, K. The Problem with Secularism (2007). Decades ago, a prominent Congress leader, Kanhaiya Lal Munshi (1887-1971) had warned his party colleague, and the then Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru (1889-1964) in a letter stating, “If every time there is an inter-communal conflict, the majority is blamed regardless of the merits of the question... the springs of traditional tolerance will dry up.” Far from heeding this warning, under the guise of upholding secularism, the Congress Party has made demonisation of the majority its main political plank. Godhra Train Burning: HC faults State Govt, Orders Rs 10 Lakh for Victims' Kin. 1, After this question I finally let out the Djinn of Godhra which has been disturbing me from past eight years and Mr. Modi as well, on whose mind Godhra has been looming for a long time. Marino, Andy (2014). Does anyone recall the name of the chief minister of UP during Malliana and Meerut riots or Bihar CM when the Bhagalpur or Jamshedpur riots under Congress regimes took place? Justice KG Shah died in March 2008 before the commission could complete its inquiry. Between 10.30 and 11.00 a.m., an auto driver named Ranjeet Vanjara was parked near a masjid in Naroda Patiya. ‘I don’t know what happened in 1984,’ she said, ‘but I was in Ahmedabad in 2002 and I know what happened and blame Modi for it.’ It was a response I had heard many times and yet it never failed to annoy me. What they narrated to me showed that the media, particularly, English-language media were lapping up one-sided news portraying Modi as the Demon and all his opponents angels. It is not as though a crime is a crime only if it is committed against the minorities and not so if it is committed against the majority community. This should be viewed as a crime committed against humanity...remind all the political leaders in India that it is not only the minorities who enjoy rights under the Constitution. For four years after the BJP's accession to power in 1998, in spite of numerous massacres of Hindus by Muslim terrorists, the Indian Muslims were left alone. They told us about the earlier riots in which the Hindus were mostly at the receiving end. But something was missing. That canard was borrowed from an Islamist website. The 31 convicts were convicted under the Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy, murder and attempt to murder. Some of these riots were far more deadly than the 2002 outburst. The attackers poured petrol into the compartment and then set it afire. There was no retaliation after the numerous selective mass killings of Hindu and Sikh villagers or bus passengers in Jammu and Kashmir, nor after the attacks on Hindu pilgrims there; nor after the Mumbai bomb blasts (March 1993); nor after the bomb attack against a BJP gathering in Coimbatore (February 1998); nor after the attacks on the Parliament buildings of Srinagar and Delhi (September and December 2001). Ch. He testified, that they were “shouting slogans which had the effect of hurting the religious feelings of the other community,” and heard announcements like Islam khatre me hai, Maro, kato ( Islam is in danger, let us cut them up and kill them)– coming from loud speakers of the Ali Masjid. “Sixteen-year-old Gayatri Panchal saw her mother, father and two sisters die before her eyes in the train fire as they returned home after participating in a religious ceremony at Ayodhya. Many of the bodies were charred horrifically. Godhra, a city of the Indian State of Gujarat, was the lead story in all Indian newspapers on February 27th-28th, 2002. At least 2,000 kar sevaks, who had gone to attend the Purnahuti Maha Yagna at the instance of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, had boarded the train from Ayodhya. My idea was to bring out whatever lapses occurred either by way of decision-making or in the implementation of orders in both these cases. KM Munshi quoted from Kishwar, Madhu (2014). What is always overlooked in a discussion of the Gujarat carnage, is how exceptional this type of Hindu retaliation to a Muslim act of aggression (the Godhra pogrom, cfr. also at. Madhu Purnima Kishwar: Modi, Muslims and Media. There was no Hindu retaliation to the Mumbai bomb blasts of March 1993; to the numerous group killings of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir; to the mass killing of Hindu activists in Coimbatore in February 1998; to the frequent reports of pogroms on Hindus in Bangladesh; or to the attacks on the Parliament buildings in Srinagar and Delhi in the autumn of 2001. This page was last edited on 12 October 2020, at 04:29. Godhra train burning. The court’s verdict came on appeals filed by the convicts and the prosecuting agency. One person was crushed to death. Few politicians, human rights activists or media persons have had a kind word for them. These Dalit families claim that they had been attacked by the people belonging to the minority community, who damaged their houses, property and drove them out of the area. I did not handpick him but I asked the Supreme Court to suggest names. It also dramatically distorted the role of the police in the Gujarat violence. Do we hear the names of earlier chief ministers of Gujarat under whose charge hundreds of riots took place in post-Independence India? The moment retaliatory violence sparked off in the rest of Gujarat, the Godhra massacre was underplayed and sought to be erased from public memory as if it had nothing to do with the riots that followed. The train burning incident had within hours triggered violent riots across the state. The Indian Express is now on Telegram. A group of Muslims dragged him into the gali near their masjid. By contrast, the sizably smaller Gujarat riots were two-sided. After Nitish lost the railway minister’s post following the defeat of the NDA government in 2004, the Congress Party-led UPA government appointed Lalu Yadav as the new railway minister. A special SIT court today gave life imprisonment to two accused in 2002 Godhra train carnage. The resolution of it all, though forecasts a ray of light, but it also exposed many vulnerabilities of the system. infra) turns out to be once we take a larger perspective. The second incident took place around 11 a.m. A Muslim owner of an Eicher truck was surrounded by a Hindu mob. The 63 people acquitted also include the prime accused in the case Maulana Umarji, Mohammad Hussain Kalota, Mohammad Ansari and Nanumiya Chaudhary. But when persons belonging to the majority are subjected to similar perpetration of heinous crimes, not a single political leader has so far issued a statement condemning this barbaric crime. The Commission in its report submitted that most of the 59 people killed were kar sevaks who were returning from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. She had started tutoring witnesses from the start as though she was just waiting for this riot to break out. The incident took place in March 2002, after the train burning incident near Godhra railway station; a fast-track court acquitted all the accused on 14 Jun'05. There was no one to ask them for accounts. A Commission of Inquiry was constituted by the Gujarat government headed by then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. There is absolutely no evidence to show that either the Chief Minister and/or any other Minister(s) in his Council of Ministers or Police officers had played any role in the Godhra incident or that there was any lapse on their part in the matter of providing protection, relief and rehabilitation to the victims of communal riots or in the matter of not complying with the recommendations and directions given by National Human Rights Commission. The television news channels showed the pictures of the burning S/6 coach and the dead bodies throughout the day. Publication: UNI Date: March 8, 2002 also reprinted at, The arguments they put forth to rubbish the charge of pre-planned attack by a group of miscreants (some with pronounced Congress Party links) not only added insult to injury but also revealed the extent to which the, Kishwar, Madhu (2014). 7. But from day one of its appointment, the Congress Party and its allied NGOs attacked the Commission and questioned the integrity of the appointed judge. The yagna was part of Ram Temple building programme. As documented by the Nanavati Commission 1 , some of the leading accused and convicted turned out to be Congressmen of Godhra. Inside the coach, 58 charred bodies were found. The bias is further confirmed when the report titled the chapter on attacks on Hindus as “Retaliatory Attacks on Hindus” while the chapter on attacks on Muslims was titled, “Overview of the Attacks Against Muslims.” While the Hindu mobs were said to have chanted “Jai Sri Ram” when attacking Muslims, the report conveniently avoided incidents where the Muslim mobs shouted “Kill Hindus. What made those 40,000 Hindus rush to relief camps? Most horrific was the attackers’ act of not allowing anyone to escape and watching with their eyes 59 Hindus roasting to death, crying with pain, pleading for mercy... Can anyone imagine 2,000 Hindus burning to death 59 Muslims at Karachi Railway Station in Pakistan? The Muslim manager of this hotel, got together fanatic Muslim youths from the same locality and set the houses in the locality on fire, first taking care to remove all inhabitants of Muslim houses to a safe place. This made it obvious that it was all a play-act. The Commission consisted Justice G T Nanavati and Justice KG Shah. That is their only agenda. Banerjee. Voices from Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, Manushi Publications, Delhi 2014. Rioting did not start in the morning of February 28. Modi, Muslims and media: Voices from Narendra Modi's Gujarat. But even the appointment of Justice Nanavati became a target of wild aspersions by Congress-supported NGOs, even though the judge had not been arbitrarily chosen by Modi. They were all done to death in the most brutal manner... Deshpande, M. D. (2014). The Union Home Ministry's Annual Report of 2002-03 stated that 40,000 Hindus were in riot relief camps. Those who criticise me for that statement, never mention that within months of Godhra, there was an Islamic terrorist group attack on Akshardham and yet my Gujarat remained peaceful. ‘We were sleeping and I opened my eyes when I felt the heat. To seek protection from whom? After the unfortunate happenings in Gujarat, the Congress and its pseudo-secular supporters took the lead in a sustained campaign against my party by propagating, essentially, three lies, which are still in circulation... Strangely, instead of clearly, straightforwardly condemning the act, the Indian English-language press tried to justify it: “Pilgrims provoked by chanting pro-Hindu slogans” (they were not slogans but bhajans, or devotional songs, ending with “Jai Sri Ram” (Victory to Sri Rama). I saw flames everywhere. Voices from Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, Manushi Publications, Delhi 2014. Two thousand people were standing on all sides of the compartment to prevent the karsevaks from running away and saving their lives from the fire. The Gujarat High Court on Monday commuted the death sentence awarded to 11 convicts to life term in the Godhra train burning case of 2002. A lady was sitting with him with a tape recorder tutoring this Muslim from Karnataka to say, “I am so angry at the riots that I am going to become a terrorist.” Teesta has a real perverse streak in her. The Godhra Riots: Sifting Fact from Fiction by Nicole Elfi, 2013. In fact, I even added in its terms of reference that all the charges against me should also be examined. Madhu Purnima Kishwar: Modi, Muslims and Media. Modi, Muslims and media: Voices from Narendra Modi's Gujarat. April 21, 2002. His eyes had been gouged. “It’s because they were returning from Ayodhya, where they asked for the reconstruction of a temple at the traditional birth place of Rama; this offends the feelings of the Muslims.” In sum, the victims, roasted alive, were guilty. By all means, preserve the Godhra articles and columns in a special folder, one day they will be the object of a spectacular case study in the human capacity for doublethink. Three others were acquitted by … Gujarat HC verdict: All you need to know about Godhra train burning case A coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt on February 27, 2002 at the Godhra station, triggering riots in the Gujarat. Injuries were suffered by another 48 passengers in the train. Some people have decided to pillory one man for their vested interests. The train had arrived at Godhra station in Gujarat just then. The latest is their "report" claiming that the Hindus in the train had themselves lit the fire, in a gigantic mass suicide. On 27 February 2002, the Godhra train burning incident initiated a series of riots in Gujarat. The Godhra train burning case refers to the train that was returning with passengers from the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya that had been demolished in 1992. NDTV, the most steadfast mouthpiece of the Congress Party, played a key role in creating a distorted discourse on Godhra carnage because of the prestige it then carried. This should be kept in mind when assessing the Hindu loss of self-control after the Godhra massacre. GODHRA TRAIN BURNING. By and large, Hindus have shown remarkable self-restraint in the face of violent provocation, a fact for which they are given insufficient credit. p. 193. A shattering piece of news: 58 Hindu pilgrims had been burned alive in a train. Why was it necessary if they were the main aggressors? Narendra Modi on the choice of Nanavati to head the commission. The Sabarmati Express had begun its journey from Muzaffarpur and was on its way to Ahmedabad. Therefore, they wanted to drag on the camps for as long as they could. (...). The cause of this massacre was said to be burning of a train at Godhra railway station that killed 58 Hindu pilgrims .Modi declared the attack on the train … He pointed out that those who were painting a grim picture of the minorities being massacred, were doing a great disservice to the country and giving it a bad name. They alleged that the Godhra incident was due to government’s failure or complicity, not a planned attack by Muslims. p. 204. Such acts of senseless violence should be condemned no matter who is responsible for them and no matter who the victims are. Voices from Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, Manushi Publications, Delhi 2014. All the suppressed passions broke loose at the Godhra carnage, and no government, Modi or no Modi, could have stopped what followed—despicable and condemnable as both the Godhra and post-Godhra killings were. They had given a memorandum to the President against me. Yadav played even worse games by appointing the UC Banerjee Committee to give a clean chit to the Godhra accused. He gave a detailed description about government action on rioters, curfews which were imposed in Gujarat as soon as riots were started, the police action on rioters and many more things. They named Nanavati because he had headed the Commission of Inquiry into the 1984 riots. According to the investigation, the conflict started when the Hindu militant activists attacked a Muslim woman and pulling off her headscarf. Because of this inconvenient implication, most authors propagating the "secularist" viewpoint before ignorant Western audiences have simply left out the detail that the victims were "mostly women and children", so as to make the allegation of "militancy" more credible, along with the justifying suggestion that those fanatics had it coming to them. p. 197, Kishwar, Madhu (2014). She was crying hysterically in front of journalists. In the third incident in Naroda Gam, a group of Muslims murdered a Hindu cyclist. 11 of the 31 convicts were given the death penalty while the remaining were given life imprisonment. There was a huge controversy whether the incident was an accident or preplanned attack. Violence Spreads Across Indian State By ASHOK SHARMA,Associated Press Feb 28, 2002 (URL: That the survivors of the February 27 Sabarmati Express blaze at Godhra are a bitter lot will be an understatement. Some individuals who had participated in the conspiracy appear to be involved in the heinous act of setting coach S/6 on fire. The charge that the CM forced the relief camps to close while the victims were not ready to go back is baseless. Therefore, the theory that the post-Godhra riots of 2002 were part of a well-crafted BJP conspiracy is all bunkum. Voices from Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, Manushi Publications, Delhi 2014. The victims included 15 children, including some toddlers and some old people of above 65. Does anyone remember who the chief minister of Maharashtra was during Mumbai riots which were no less deadly than the Gujarat riots of 2002? This inflamed the Hindus and they went on a rampage. It is to be hoped that the same is realized and adequate measures are taken to address the shortcomings, and prevent such incidents in the near future. Munshi, Indian Constitutional Documents: Pilgrimage to Freedom, 1902-1950, Internationally influential media like the Washington Post copied from an Islamist website rumors about Hindu provocations behind the Godhra carnage, falsely claiming a Gujarati journalist as source, and never publishing a correction when the journalist in question denied ever having put out such a story. The existence of camps gave them legitimacy to raise funds within the country and abroad. quoted in Madhu Purnima Kishwar: Modi, Muslims and Media. HEIDELBERG PAPERS IN SOUTH ASIAN AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS. Fifty-seven Hindus were killed, including 25 women and 14 children, who were burned alive aboard the Sabarmati Express... Christophe Jaffrelot describing the Godhra train burning attack. Modi, Muslims and media: Voices from Narendra Modi's Gujarat. The victims included 27 women and 10 children. Nor were they as one-sided as they came to be projected. Justice Nanavati and Justice Akshay Mehta submitted the final report of the Nanavati-Shah Commission that same year describing the train burning as a conspiracy. There were several instances of stone-throwing on Hindus passing through Muslim dominated areas of Ahmedabad. Were all of these caused by the Rathyatra ?" On a parallel track, reports in print media as well as TV began reiterating that it was the logical outcome of the Ram Mandir movement. The Congress-led UPA government set up a separate inquiry commission headed by Justice UC Banerjee, who in his report submitted in March 2006, called the incident to be an accident. And yet, they went hammer and tongs at me. On 3 rd or 4 th of March, I entered Shah Alam dargah, which had been converted into a refugee camp. The February 2002 Sabarmati train fire, which killed 59 kar sevaks and triggered large-scale riots, was part of a "conspiracy" hatched by Congress's elected members from Godhra, according to … When they went in the gali, they found the dead body of Vanzara outside the mosque. There is something profoundly worrying in the response of what might be called the secular establishment to the massacre in Godhra...Some versions have it that the karsevaks shouted anti-Muslim slogans; others that they taunted and harassed Muslim passengers. Here’s all you need to know about the 2002 Godhra train burning case: On the morning of February 27, 2002, a coach of the the Sabarmati Express — Coach S6 — was set ablaze and 59 passengers travelling in that coach were charred to death. According to reports, Congress Party councillor Taufeeq Khan Pathan and his son Zulfi, notorious gangsters, were allegedly seen leading Muslim rioters. These included some Congress members of the Nagarpalika. Modi, Godhra: The Missing Rage (New Delhi: Prabhat Prakashan, 2004), pp 26-29 quoted from Kishwar, Madhu (2014). I was a personal witness to the following incident. Tens of thousands were rendered homeless as well. Justice Nanavati and Justice Mehta, “Part I: Sabarmati Express Train Incident of Godhra,” , quoted from Kishwar, Madhu (2014). Modi, Muslims and media: Voices from Narendra Modi's Gujarat. He even compared the Godhra riots with the. Justice D. S. Tewatia, Dr. J. C. Batra, et al., Godhra Carnage-Justice Tewatia Report, Council for International Affairs and Human Rights, Delhi, April 2002, Quoted in Kishwar, Madhu (2014). My mother was in flames, her clothes were on fire,’ she said. A Special SIT Court in Ahmedabad on Wednesday sentenced convict Yakub Pataliya to life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train burning case. The perpetrators of the terrorist acts received support from jehadi elements operating from Godhra. Hindus started with pelting of stones on Muslim houses in Naroda Patia area. BJP leader V.K. Though disgusting, it was at the same time quite funny to watch the extreme inventiveness of the secularists in blaming the victims. A total 223 people were reported missing. The details were later published at the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission. Narendra Modi quoted from Madhu Purnima Kishwar: Modi, Muslims and Media. Baldeep Singh photographer was with me. ‘Someone pulled me out of the compartment and then I saw my father’s body being taken out. Even in dealing with the government, some of the camp organisers had started inflating figures regarding the number of inmates. They burnt houses of 35 Hindu families.... Yusuf Ajmeri with a 1000 strong mob and with swords and guptis in their hands rushed to Hindu locality shouting "Kill Hindus, Allah is with us". HRW’s most extensive publication on India was its 2002 report on the Gujarat violence. Nanavati Report, Report of the Commission of Inquiry Consisting of Justice Nanavati and Justice Mehta, and also quoted in The Godhra Riots:Sifting Fact from Fiction by Nicole Elfi (2009). Fact was that 90 % of the Swastika: Hate and Hysteria versus Hindu Sanity 2007... Nitish in Godhra train burning accident or preplanned godhra train burning anti-Muslim feelings, Hindus have remarkable... That a Muslim woman and pulling off her headscarf 2021 the Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy murder! Home Ministry 's Annual report of 2002-03 stated that the most violent events took following. Story in all Indian newspapers on February 27th-28th, 2002 also be examined showed that Muslim. Before or since 1947 wanted to drag on the Hindus and they went in the 2002 riots the true ;., Uttar Pradesh, India: HarperCollins Publishers India, 2016 the Hindus and Muslims among! Or complicity, not a riot, and they thanked Heaven when it finally materialized daily! 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