Excerpts from the report of the Concerned Citizens Tribunal
into the recent violence in Gujarat.
[A large number of groups and individuals from within
Gujarat and the rest of the country, after consultation with one another
decided to constitute a Concerned Citizens Tribunal as a response to the
carnage that rocked the State following the Godhra tragedy on February
27, 2002. An eight member tribunal consisting of (Justice) V. R. Krishna
Iyer, (Justice) P. B. Jaswant, (Justice) Hosbet Suresh, (Advocate) K.
G. Kannabiran, (Ms.) Aruna Roy, K. S. Subramanian (Retd. IPS), Ghanshyam
Shah (Professor JNU), Tanika Sarkar (Professor JNU) was constituted. The
Tribunal, after collecting oral and written testimonies from individuals
and organisations and from victim-survivors between May 2nd & 13th
2002 prepared a massive report running into more man 500 pgs divided into
An additional third volume is yet to come copies of the report can be
had from the publishers: Citizens for Justice and Peace, P.O. Box 28253
Juhu Post office, Mumbai 40049. - Chief Editor]
We give below an abridged version of a summary
issued by the tribunal.
Click here for the full report
of the Fire
On 7-5-2002, we inspected the coach and the site where it was burnt
A very significant fact is that coach S-6 was the only one that got burnt.
The fire did not even spread to the other coaches. If the kar sevaks were
the target, they were overwhelmingly present in the entire train and the
whole train could have been set on fire. The fact that the fire did not
even spread to the remaining coaches, is a clear indication that the fire
originated in that compartment itself.
also explains why only persons in that coach died. In all probability,
as the fire broke out, there was extreme panic and, the compartment being
over-packed, many of the a the able bodied persons managed to escape through
the vestibules to the other coaches, leaving mostly women and children
behind, who must have succumbed to the smoke and suffocation and fallen
down in a pile, one over the other. The evidence also suggests that the
passengers had stacked their belongings against the doors and it was just
not possible for anyone to escape from or enter the coach.
It is clear that the fire started inside the coach and the flames leaping
out of the windows singed the outside of the compartment, above window
level. Therefore, even to the naked eye, it was clear that the fire was
from within and not from outside.
Our own observations were subsequently confirmed by the reports of the
forensic Science Laboratory, Ahmedabad (Spot Investigation Report).
The evidence clearly indicates that the incident was not pre-planned,
as alleged by the government. In this connection, we would like to refer
to a statement made by the IGP, Railways, PP Agja recorded by the Times
of India on March 29, 2002: "The case is still being investigated
and if there was some deep conspiracy, then we are yet to find it... As
is amply evident from the voluminous evidence recorded by the Tribunal,
and substantive other evidence made available to it, investigating officials
have yet to find any proof of the Godhra atrocity being pre-planned.
Immediate Reaction of the Administration and the
From 8.30 a.m. on February 27, just after the fire on the Sabarmati Express
took place, until 7.30 p.m. that evening, repeated statements by the Godhra
district collector, Smt. Jayanthi Ravi relayed on Doordarshan and Akashwani
(Radio) stated "the incident was not pre-planned, it was an accident."
® At 7.30 p.m., Chief Minister, Shri Modi made a public broadcast
in which, for the first time, he put forward the, 'ISI hand behind the
Godhra incident' version. Thereafter, from the next day onwards, the then
Home Minister Shri L K Advani also ominously pointed to the "ISI
hand." Union Defence Minister, Shri George Fernandes, too, joined
the chorus of voices, alleging that there was "a foreign hand"
What could have been confined to Godhra and Godhra alone was taken and
broadcast to all of Gujarat state. All that followed was directly related
to Shri Modi's decision to carry Godhra to the whole state instead of
containing the issue therein.
Bandh Call and the Preparation
Senior ministers from Shri Modi's cabinet organised a meeting late in
the evening on February 27, in Lunavada village of Sabarkantha district.
Shri Ashok Bhatt, the State Health Minister and Minister Prabhat Singh
Chauhan from Lunavada attended. At this meeting, a diabolical plan was
drawn and disseminated to the top 50 leaders of the BJP/RSS/BD/VHP, on
the method and manner in which the 72-hour-long carnage that followed
was to be carried out.
According to confidential evidence recorded by the Tribunal, these instructions
were blatantly disseminated by the government, and in most cases, barring
a few sterling exceptions, methodically carried out by the police and
the IAS administration. There is no way that the debased levels of violence
that were systematically carried out in Gujarat could have been allowed,
had the police and district administration, the IPS and the IAS, stood
by its constitutional obligation and followed Service Rules to prevent
The bandh call for February 28 and March 1, given by the VHP and supported
by the BJP party and state government, made possible exactly what the
Chief Minister and the BJP/VHP/RSS/Bajrang Dal leadership wanted to happen
after the Godhra incident.
It is apparent that by the evening of February 27, a well thought out
scheme to extract maximum political capital out of Godhra had been launched.
As part of this scheme, at around 2.30 a.m. the bodies of the kar Sevaks
were brought to Ahmedabad.
The state government and the administration, instead of appealing for
restraint and peace, became the agents of a well-planned action against
innocent Muslims of the state that was in fact projected as a 'reaction.'
The corpses of the unfortunate victims of the Godhra arson were used to
launch a statewide pogrom of decimation that has not entirely stopped
Was 'Godhra' Allowed to Happen?
Gujarat and indeed the whole country was on red alert due to the aggressive
mobilisation by the VHP for building the temple at Ayodhya (March 15).
In Mumbai, the police made as many as 8,000 preventive arrests in the
first week of March, to keep the situation under strict control. In contrast,
even after Godhra happened, the Gujarat police arrested only two persons
in Ahmedabad, both of whom were Muslims.
There was utter and complete failure of law and order maintenance and
governance, particularly given the chequered communal history of the town.
An investigation into the background of Godhra shows that when disturbances
erupted in 1965, the then collector promptly arrested both Muslims and
Hindus whose name appeared in FIRs and within a couple of days the disturbances
were curbed. Even after the October 1980 disturbances, the then collector,
Smt. SK Verma immediately put the miscreants behind bars. If a similar,
no-nonsense and non-partisan approach had followed the Godhra incident
of February 27, by promptly apprehending the suspected criminals, tension
would have been contained.
the chances of a vengeful and highly organised spree of retaliatory killings
that demonstrate every element of ethnic cleansing and genocide, would
have been pre-empted. That this did not happen suggests a lack of intent
on the part of those in government, to take prompt preventive measures
in order to deescalate the situation. In December 1992, a similar incident
of provocation had occurred at Palej near Vadodara, but at that time,
the state police cracked down on the Shiv Sainiks who had abused and provoked
passengers and residents and thus squashed potential communal trouble
Though all accounts suggest that there was provocation enough by the kar
sevaks, nothing can justify the crime of torching 58 persons alive. The
guilty need to brought to book and punished. But the tragedy and crime
simply need to be placed in the charged and venomous atmosphere that the
county and the polity has been held victim to, where sane, rational impulses
are being overwhelmed by the politics of rage, revenge and violence.
Patterns of Violence
A noticeable feature of the Gujarat carnage is the distinct and similar
patterns that have emerged from different parts of the state. While some
local conditions and socio-economic factors do differentiate the attacks
from one place to another, derailed and extensive evidence before the
Tribunal points to the overwhelming and sinister similarity behind the
attacks that were engineered and launched...
Selective Targeting of Muslims
From the extensive evidence recorded by the Tribunal, it is clear that
Muslims from all social strata, rich and poor, were the prime targets
for the state-sponsored pogrom unleashed all over the state of Gujarat.
From cities and towns to villages, be it the question of life, dignity
or property, barring few exceptions, Muslims were the sole target. While
the targeting of economically better off Muslims was limited to their
property, and this damage was vast and extensive (the carnage in Gulberg
Society, where former MP Ahsan Jafri was specifically targeted, being
an exception), the lower middle class and the working class sector, be
it in urban centres or villages, faced attacks on their life, property,
In most places, Hindu houses amongst Muslim bastis had been marked out
before the attacks using saffron flags, or pictures of Ram and Hanuman,
or with crosses. Evidence before the Tribunal shows that in some places
this marking was done a few days before the Godhra tragedy on February
27 and which was the ostensible justification for the 'retaliation'. These
markings were to avoid inadvertent attacks on Hindu homes and businesses
in areas that were targeted later.
From the statewide evidence earlier recorded and placed before us, it
is also clear that apart from the lives of Muslims, several symbols of
India's composite culture were deliberate targets during the carnage in
Gujarat. The dargahs (shrines) of Sufi saints that are revered by persons
from all communities, especially the oppressed castes, deserve special
The other targets of violence were couples who had entered into inter-community
marriages... Violence against mixed couples has become common all over
Gujarat and the issue of inter-religious marriage has become part of the
hate propaganda against Muslims and those Hindus who enter into or accept
Brutality and Bestiality of Attacks
The Tribunal recorded over 1,500 testimonies of eye-witnesses, victims
and survivors of the violence from Ahmedabad, Kheda, Mehsana, Himmatnagar,
Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Vadodara, Godhra, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Patan,
Anand, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and elsewhere. This includes the written evidence
collected by others and placed before us. The widespread violence that
targeted Muslims in urban and rural Gujarat was marked by utter bestiality
and brutality. We have recorded evidence that training camps were conducted
by the Bajrang Dal and the VHP, backed by the RSS and supported by democratically
elected representatives from the ruling BJP.
camps were often conducted in temples. The aim was to generate intense
hatred against Muslims painted as 'the enemy', because of which violence
was both glorified through the distribution of trishuls and swords, and
justified as the legitimate means to self-defence.
In the attacks all over Gujarat, as recorded before the Tribunal, areas
were besieged for 7-8 hours, by mobs of over a few thousand (this varied
in different cases but the marked similarity was the scale of the attackers).
In all the cases, the leaders of the mobs coordinating and supervising
the transport of gas cylinders, trishuls and talwars, chemicals and gelatine
sticks have been identified by witnesses and survivors as prominent leaders
and elected representatives from the BJP or leaders of the VHP, Bajrang
Dal, or the RSS.
Women and young girls were targeted brutally, as were children.
recorded before us shows how in the macabre dance of death, human beings
were quartered and the killing protracted while the terrorised survivors
looked on, the persons targeted were dragged or paraded naked through
the neighbourhood, victims were urinated upon, before being finally cut
to pieces and burnt. Hundreds of testimonies before us show how this manner
and method of killing has left an indelible imprint on the minds of the
Evidence before the Tribunal shows that the burning alive of victims was
wide spread. This is not accidental. For the victim community, Muslims,
who bury their dead, the killing by burning was meant to annihilate as
also to terrorise and establish dominance over the entire community. When
6-year-old Irfan asked for water, his assailants at Naroda Patiya made
him forcibly drink kerosene, or some other inflammable liquid, before
a lit match was thrown inside his gullet to make him explode within. Such
brutality, which was encouraged or condoned by the government in power,
is now cynically being denied.
Unprecedented Scale and Degree of Violence-Ethnic
The Tribunal recorded evidence from more than 16 districts of Gujarat.
From the evidence placed before us it is clear that starting from February
28 within the first 72 hours, even as Shri Modi claimed the situation
to be under control, there was unprecedented loss of life and property.
Thereafter, violence continued in 3-4 distinct stages right up to mid-May.
Even the hearing of the Tribunal in the first half of May were preceded
by warnings to call off the Tribunal. We, too, had to ask for state security.
Evidence before the Tribunal shows that, guided by leaders, the trained
mobs first sprinkled the targeted buildings with fuel drawn from kerbas
(large cans/barrels), or even a tanker in some cases, followed by a spray
of acid. Immediately thereafter a gas cylinder brought along by the mobs
was unsealed and tossed into the flame.
result was a deadly explosion that ripped buildings apart and killed a
large number of persons on the spot. The complete destruction of the Noorani
Masjid at Naroda Patiya at around 9.30 a.m. on February 28 was probably
the first among the large number of such deadly assaults launched across
the state using gas cylinders and acid.
Across Gujarat, over 1,100 Muslim-owned hotels, the homes of not less
that 1,00,000 families, over 15,000 small and big business establishments,
around 3 thousands larri gallas (handcarts), and over 5,000 vehicles (private
cars, trucks, taxis, auto rickshaws) were badly damaged or completely
destroyed in the attacks. These figures, arrived at by the Tribunal through
the voluminous evidence presented before us indicate the attempt to economically
cripple a community on a scale unprecedented in the post-independence
history of communal violence in the country.
Looting and Destruction of Property
The destruction of property across Gujarat, in the most affected cities
of Ahmedabad and Vadodara, as also elsewhere, was thorough and precise.
The extensive evidence before the Tribunal shows that this, too, was part
of the pattern and the planning behind the attacks, to devastate and completely
destroy the property of the targeted Muslim section. As significant is
the fact that every single Muslim household and business establishment
was looted before being reduced to an empty shell.
are instances where, at the more affluent shops located on the main roads
in Ahmedabad or Bharuch, the middle and affluent classes among Hindus,
women and girls noticeably, were seen looting choice collections from
a boutique or shop before it was completely destroyed.
From March 1-3, in all the affected villages, Muslims were forced to flee
their homes taking nothing with them... Once the Muslims fled from their
villages, mobs looted and then burnt their houses and shops at leisure.
In many villages, houses were being torched until as late as March 10-13,
and, in some instances, even later. In every structure targeted, be it
a house or a shop, doors, windows, window frames, grills, electric wiring,
water pipes, taps, switch-boards, electric meters, all movable property,
even roofs, went missing. There were traces of the chemical powders used
even when Tribunal members visited these villages two months after the
The evidence recorded before the Tribunal shows that, while Godhra provided
the pretext, there was prior mobilisation of men and materials, and an
organisation in place that made possible the systematic and calculated
preparations that preceded many of the massacres. The mass use of gas
cylinders in Ahmedabad and many other places, even while there was a shortage
a fortnight before, the training needed to torch the fire-proof showroom
of Harsollya Motors (Sabarkantha), the selection of the kind of blasting
devices and detonators needed to destroy Muslim-owned factories and establishments
in the GIDC area in Modasa (Sabarkantha) or Vatwa (Ahmedabad), while the
areas were under curfew between March 1-3; they all suggest detailed military-style
Take Over of Agricultural Holdings Owned By Muslims. The Tribunal has
received evidence from across the state of Gujarat that a deliberate motive
behind driving Muslims out of villages where they have lived for centuries,
and where an economic and social boycott is even today being carried out,
is to surreptitiously and illegally take over landholdings held by them.
Military Precision and Planning Behind Attacks
How the operations were executed: Large mobs running into thousands were
led by well-known elected representatives from the BJP, leaders of the
VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS and even cabinet ministers
quite often carried computer printouts of the names and addresses of Muslims
homes and shops. Field operations were coordinated by a central command
using mobile phones.
The formation of arson battalions: The evidence clearly points to scores
of key actors leading large mobs, fully aware of what they had to do and
achieving their task with precision. This suggests the existence of a
private, trained militia running into thousands in Gujarat. A militia,
moreover, established and made fighting fit through training camps, distribution
of weaponry and hate propaganda glorifying violence. Weapons used in attacks,
such as swords, were of the same brand, and must obviously have been distributed
in advance across large tracts of the state.
Profile of the assailants: The leadership of large mobs running into thousands
was provided by easily identifiable elected representatives of the BJP
(including cabinet ministers), and others from the VHP, the Bajrang Dal
and the RSS. From the evidence before us, it is clear that these leaders
were carrying computerised sheets containing people's names and addresses.
The second rung comprised of the chief executioners who wielded all the
weapons - guns, trishuls, swords - and handled arsenals and supplies -
petrol, diesel, kerosene, chemicals and gas cylinders - for starting fires.
They moved around in vehicles loaded with chemicals and weapons. This
was the group primarily responsible for the brutal killings, sexual assaults,
and other abuses.
The third group was mainly involved in looting property from the houses
and shops. In some of the tribal area, this group consisted of Adivasis.
Use of Hale Speech and Hate Writing
Widespread hate propaganda was conducted through pamphlets distributed
by Hindu communal organisations in different areas in large numbers. The
content of these included calls for the social and economic boycott of
Muslims, warnings about Muslims constituting a danger to the survival
of Hindus, urging Hindus to awaken and to decimate and drive Muslims out
Much of the local media played a reprehensibly partisan and inflammatory
role right from February 28 onwards, local political leaders used the
electronic media in the most despicable manner. The intentions of leaders
belonging to the ruling party and their affiliates becomes very clear
if one examines the speeches on local TV channels like JTV, Deep, and
VNM. For example, informatory speeches by certain leaders on local cable
news channels on March 15, after the Machchipith incident in Vadodara,
prompted combing operations by the police. Despite several appeals to
the administration requesting action against particularly offensive local
news channels, the police commissioner only acted in the last week of
March, by filing FIRs, ironically, against two of the relatively less
It would be no exaggeration to state that the local press, particularly
Sandesh and Gujarat Samachar (the former with greater impunity) was party
to fuelling communal tension in the state through sensationalised, provocative,
and, at times, highly inflammatory reporting. Had these newspapers played
a more sober and responsible role, allaying rather than preying on the
fears of people (particularly those belonging to the majority community),
they could, perhaps, have contributed to defusing tension and restoring
peace in the state.
Hate propaganda: There are numerous examples of motivated and false
propaganda used to fuel local passions leading to violence against Muslims.
One example bears mention here. Shri Dalsukh Maharaj of Sanjeli, mobilised
a mammoth crowd of 30-35,000 people, mostly Adivasis, some of whom had
gathered for a wedding, to slaughter local Muslims and to burn and loot
their houses... A top district-level official who deposed before the Tribunal
provided evidence of distribution of CDs and pamphlets among Adivasis
and others in Panchmahal, that contained blatant falsehoods about Muslims.
The administration had to crack down on recording and video parlors and
photocopy shops engaged in this nasty business.
Muslim refugees from Pandharwada (Panchmahal), Randhikpur (Dahod), Sanjeli
(Dahod), Por (Gandhinagar), Rajpardi (Bharuch), Unjha, Dasaj (Mehsana)
and several other areas reported the steady build-up of anti-Muslim propaganda
through meetings, leaflets, etc., over the last decade and, more intensively,
in the last few years. 'Kodar Doctor', one of the chief accused in the
Pandharwada violence, would tell Muslim villagers that Pandharwada was
the land of the five Pandavas where Muslims were not wanted; they were
repeatedly told to go away to Pakistan.
Violence Against Women
A distinct, tragic and ghastly feature of the stare sponsored carnal unleashed
against a section of the population, the Muslim minority in Gujarat, was
the systematic sexual violence unleashed against young girls and women.
Rape was used as an instrument for the subjugation and humiliation of
a community. A chilling technique, absent in pogroms unleashed hitherto
but very much in evidence this time in a large number of cases, was the
deliberate destruction of evidence. Barring a few, in most instances of
sexual violence, the women victims were stripped and paraded naked, then
gang-raped, and thereafter quartered and burnt beyond recognition.
The Tribunal recorded with pain the statements of women from all over
Gujarat who had either themselves been subject to sexual violence or were
direct witness to it. Many of the over 33,000 children forced to live
as refugees in relief camps throughout the state were also witness to
the most debased and brutal forms of violence. They were mute witnesses
to gross gender crimes perpetrated on their near and dear ones - sisters,
mothers, aunts and even grandmothers -with gory and military precision,
evidence of some sick minds and a vicious ideology.
According to the evidence recorded by the Tribunal, the leaders of the
mobs (many of whom have been identified) in Naroda even raped young girls,
some as young as 11-years-old. The young girls were made to remove their
clothes in front of 1,000-2,000 strong mobs who humiliated and terrorised
the girls. Thereafter, 8-10 men raped them. After raping them, the attackers
inserted sharp swords, knives or hard objects into their bodies to torture
them before burning them alive. In the many bouts of communally incited
pogroms that have taken place in different parts of the country, never
has there been this depth of perversion, sickness and inhumanness. Even
a 20-day-old infant, or a foetus in the womb of its mother, was not spared.
They Sung babies in the pyres that they had prepared. They cut up people,
threw them in a well, known as 'teesra kuva' and then burnt them. The
police supported the mob during the assault by shelling tear gas shells
on the hapless Muslims. They also opened fire on men when they were trying
to defend the women in the area.
The sinister aspect of these gender crimes is that they have been led
and directed by elected representatives and prominent leaders of the BJP,
RSS and VHP
This means that the dominant political leadership of
our times is actually creating or displaying role models that glorify
gender crimes against women. Can any civilised society witness this without
finding an urgent need to punish those guilty and making a determined
effort to purge public life of these perversions?
The behaviour of the police towards women of the minority community had
also been recorded in some incidents of the post-demolition violence that
rocked Ahmedabad in 1992. But the scale and frequency of such shocking
misconduct during the state sponsored carnage this time makes it most
deplorable. It shows not just lawless behaviour by the police, but an
identification with the ideology of hate and humiliation that instigated
that and earlier against the minority community in Gujarat. This kind
of behaviour by the police has completely alienated the entire minority
community in Gujarat. Women, especially, feel fear, humiliation, disgust,
and anger at this.
Evidence placed before the Tribunal shows that in the later phases of
violence, even in Vadodara city, vulgar and brutal behaviour of the police
with women of the minority community was recurrent. Evidence on record
shows that from March 15 onwards, the Vadodara police played a prominent
role in terrorising Muslim residents in their localities through combing
operations and illegal arrests. Women in particular, were subject to oppressive
forms of harassment in their homes, especially when their men had either
fled or were away.
Apart from physical bearings, Muslim women in localities of Vadodara were
subjected to sexual and communal threats; policemen used highly abusive
language before they vandalised their homes.
The sexual assault on Muslim women in Gujarat since February 27, has to
be seen in the context of the carnage carried out by the right wing Sangh
Parivar with total state complicity. Violence against the minority community
assumed various forms: mass killings, sexual humiliation -including gang-rape
- of women, brutal arracks on children, and attacks on the very survival
of the minority community through looting, burning, and destruction of
their property and means of livelihood.
Evidence before the Tribunal shows that women have suffered the most bestial
forms of sexual violence, including rape, gang rape, insertion of objects
into the bodies, stripping, and molestation. A majority of the women who
suffered this violence were then burnt alive. Amongst the survivors, many
have spoken about the assaults but many have been silenced, for fear of
further attacks and for fear of censure from their own families and community.
Besides the lack of faith in the system of justice, the humiliation faced
by women who dare challenge taboos and demand punishment for gender crimes
like rape have silenced the natural cry for retribution and justice.
These crimes against women have been grossly underreported and the exact
extent of these crimes in rural and urban areas has yet to be grappled
with. These attacks have been carried out in the presence of, in many
instances even at the behest of, the police and other state authorities.
Attacks on children were used as instruments of terror. In what is surely
the most perverse dimension of the violence, children were used to torture
and terrorise victims. In one particularly tragic incident in Tarsali,
an old Muslim man was shown the head of his beheaded son on a tray before
he was himself brutally slain.
Hate Speech and Hate Writing
Evidence in the form of the originals and translations of these pamphlets
were placed on record before the tribunal
Many of these have been
in circulation, intermittently, over the past four years. But the period
between February and April, 2002 saw the proliferation of such literature,
some identifying the author, others anonymous, but all a foul testimony
to the debasing levels of hatred that the ideologues of a 'Hindu State'
can reduce ordinary people to. The Tribunal records with horror, the deep-rooted
conspiracy and design that is evident from a perusal of all these pamphlets.
From openly asking for a blatantly anti-constitutional boycott of Muslim
shops and establishments, there are also exhortations to violence against
Muslim women and children that are too shocking and painful to detail
reveal a depth of hatred that can be no good for the people it grips and
takes hold of. Only a sick and degenerate leadership can want the whole
of Indian society to descend to such demeaning levels of hatred whereby
any excuse is good enough to unleash bloodshed and mass violence. The
Tribunal has recorded dozens of testimonies from different parts of Gujarat
that show how in the past four years, 3-4 times a year, tens of thousands
of such pamphlets would flood Gujarati homes, thrust upon even those Hindus
who are repulsed by their contents. From February-April 2002, the circulation
of these pamphlets intensified considerably.
is astounding that no action was initiated by any wing of the Gujarat
state intelligence or police against such hateful and incendiary writing;
nor did the judiciary take suo motu action, which it is empowered to do.
While most of the hate pamphlets are anonymous, there were at least four
for which VHP and BD claimed proud authorship... It is a matter of profound
shame that even in these cases, no action was initiated against the errant
outfits and their office bearers.
Role of the Central Government
1.1. The complicity of the state government is obvious. And, the support
of the central government to the state government in all that it did is
also by now a matter of common knowledge.
1.2. The entire country had been held to ransom by the vitriolic rhetoric
around the building of the temple at Ayodhya; the threatening statements
by leaders of the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and the BJP kept communal temperatures
on the boil. It was in the midst of this surcharged national climate that
Godhra happened and the Gujarat carnage was masterminded.
1.3. Within hours of the Godhra arson, an organised carnage was planned
and ruthlessly executed over the next 72 hours in 15 of Gujarat's 25 districts.
It was apparent that thanks to the instructions from the state government,
the administration and the police stood paralysed as the brutal massacres
- Naroda Patiya and Gulberg society in Ahmedabad, Pandharwada in Panchmahals
and Sardarpura, Unhava and Kadi in Mehsana apart from Nadiad were clinically
executed; yet the government of India turned a blind eye. In a situation
such as post-Godhra Gujarat, when huge, organised mobs of the majority
community were attacking the minorities, when the state government and
the administration sided with the majority, it was a clear case of a breakdown
of the constitutional machinery in the state.
culpability of the central government in the Gujarat carnage lay in its
failure to invoke its executive powers available under Article 355, read
with Entry 2.2A of List 1 and Entry 1 of List II and Entry I of List III
of the Constitution of India, to take over the administration of law and
order in Gujarat, and to send in the Army under direct orders of the Centre.
1.4. At no time during the Gujarat carnage did the central government
and its functionaries show any initiative or commitment to constitutional
values, impelling them to intervene and intervene swiftly and effectively
to end the violence.
1.5. Far from invoking the provisions of the Constitution and performing
their constitutional obligations and duties, neither did the Prime Minister
nor the Home Minister even issue a stern order to the chief minister to
crackdown on the lawless elements.
1.6. Late on February 28, after he had cancelled a scheduled foreign visit,
the PM met RSS and VHP leaders in the nation's capital, not to discuss
the quartering and massacre of innocents in Gujarat, but to dialogue on
the Ayodhya issue! Later, the Cabinet Committee on Security met and merely
ordered the Army to be on alert.
1.7. The attitude of both Shri Vajpayee and Shri Advani appeared to aim
at diverting the nation's attention away from Gujarat, and directing it
instead towards Ayodhya and the happenings there.
1.8. The conduct of the railway Minster, who rushes to the spot whenever
a train accident takes place, failed in his duty to visit Godhra, to survey
the situation for himself and to order an immediate inquiry into the cause
of the Fire. Questions about the fire in the railway compartment in Godhra
still beg for an answer. Who pulled the chain? How did the fire occur?
Surely this merited the urgent attention and immediate intervention of
the railway minister? Yet, to this date, the minister has not visited
Godhra. What explanation has to offer for his utter inaction?
1.9. The conduct of the railway ministry related to the entire Godhra
arson is shocking. On February 27, as reported in The Times of India (February
28), Shri Nitish Kumar condemned attack on the Sabarmati Express and asked
the Gujarat Government to take proper measure to ensure the safety of
railway property and the passengers. Shri Kumar, who spoke to the Gujarat
chief minister on telephone in this regard, asked the state government
to take appropriate measures to ensure the smooth and safe running of
trains, from the capital without visiting the scene of the incident.
1.10. However, in the six months that have followed, Shri Nitish Kumar
has been distancing his ministry from the Godhra carnage on the ground
that what happened was not a 'rail accident' bur a law and order issue.
But the very fact that the Railways made speedy ex-gratia payments to
the relatives of those killed and to those injured is proof that the ministry
indeed treated Godhra as any other 'accident' with a difference: in many
earlier rail accidents the ex-graria payment has not necessarily been
1.11. In fact it was not until the media made specific inquires that the
internal Western railways reservation list of that they was made available.
From this, it is not at all clear if all those killed were Kar Sevaks.
Reservations for coach S-6 were made in Lucknow and not Faizabad. The
Gujarat government released the names of 39 of those who died. Nineteen
of the 58 dead have yet to be identified. One of the passengers who suffered
grievous injuries was a Muslim.
1.12. The Prime Minister's prevaricating statements, saying different
things at different times at different places, left everybody in utter
confusion. Had he already prejudged the situation and apportioned blame
for the Godhra arson to the Muslim minority or did he attribute guilt
to the goons from the Hindu majority who indulged in this carnage and
brought a bad name to the country in the international community?
1.13. On February 27, hours after the Godhra tragedy, the PM said in Parliament
that from the preliminary reports it appeared that the incident was the
result of slogan shouting. On April 4, when he visited the Shah-e-Alam
Camp, he bemoaned the burning alive of women and children, the rapes and
killings and urged the Gujarat government to observe its duty. But only
a Fortnight later, at his party's National Executive meeting in Goa on
April 22, he said the Gujarat carnage would not have occurred but for
the Godhra arson.
he bemoaned India's loss of face in the international community. He termed
the Gujarat carnage as "a blot on the nation". His statement
at his party's National Executive in Goa bears mention. "Wherever
there are Muslims, there is a problem... What happened in Gujarat? If
the passengers of the Sabarmati express, innocent, unblameworthy, had
not been deliberately burnt alive, Gujarat tragedy (Gujarat ki trasadi)
could have been avoided. But this did not happen. People were burnt alive.
Who were they? Intelligence is investigating but we still need to ask,
how did this all happen?
latter happenings should not be criticised till we understand who set
Gujarat on fire. Who lit the fire? How did it spread? Our country is multi-religious,
multi-linguistic We believe in cooperation, we believe in sarva dharma
sambhaav (respect for all religions). We are proud of our secularism...
From Goa to Guwahati, wherever I go, the Indian is not a kattarwaadi.
Yeh maati ek hai (the Indian is not a fanatic. This soil is one). But
whenever I travel around the world, our officials in all the embassies
tell me, 'militant Islam raaste mein kaante bo rahaa hai' ('militant Islam
is sowing thorns in our path'). One Islam there is which is tolerant to
all, that believes in truth: samvednaa aur dayaa sikhaataa hai ("it
preaches compassion and mercy). But the kind of Islam being perpetrated
in the world today is a violent, intolerant Islam that has no room for
tolerance." This statement, made after the worst state-sponsored
carnage against Muslims post-Partition had been so cynically carried out,
is unfortunate, to say the least.
1.14. The role of the then union Home Minister and now deputy Prime Minister,
Shri LK Advani appears to be patently partisan. His pat on the back for
Shri Modi, not once but on several occasions and his rejection of the
state government's Forensic Science Laboratory Report (FSLR) as soon as
if appeared in the press, amounted to no less than his assuming the role
of a judge. His dogged refusal to acknowledge within the country that
the Gujarat carnage was an inhuman, shameful act on the part of the communal
elements among Hindus, yet accepting it as a blot on the country during
his foreign jaunt in England, makes people wonder whether he is a spokesman
of the party which he represents or the Home Minister/Deputy Prime Minister
in the government of India? Is he simply a time server when it comes to
a foreign audience? What is inexcusable on his part is the assumption
of the role of both a lawyer holding the brief for Hindu communalists
as also of a presiding judge giving his verdict on the carnage.
he rejected the state governments Forensic Science laboratory Report,
was he doing so on behalf of the Hindu communalists or the central government?
It appears that like Shri Modi, he too keeps forgetting that he holds
constitutional office and is not a sangh prachaarak.
1.15. His statements with regard to the entire carnage make people wonder
whether any impartial investigation is at all possible into the charges
against the accused, with him in charge of the home affairs of the country.
1.16. As noteworthy was his reluctance to visit extensively, affected
areas of the post-Godhra carnage, immediately after it took place, despite
the fact that he is elected from the Gandhinagar parliamentary constituency
1.17. Shri Advani is one of the leading figures in the central government
who has irresponsibly peddled the theory of a "foreign hand"
behind the Godhra arson without any proof; described Godhra as a "net
of terrorism" and the subsequent carnage as a "communal riot";
debunked the finding of official investigations as contained in the FSLR;
repeatedly praised Shri Modi as "being the best chief minister India
has seen in 50 years" and lauded him as being the best example of
"good governance"; and, most dangerously, given a clean chit
to indicted organisations like the VHP and BD, who were openly gloating
over the violence"
1.18. It needs to be recorded here that barely a few days after Rev. Graham
Staines, the Australian priest who had been working with lepers for years,
was torched to death along with his two young sons inside a jeep in Orissa
on the night of January 22/23, 1999 and Shri Dara Singh, a man with clear
links with the RSS/VHP and BD was named as the main accused in the case,
Shri Advani had shown similar partisan conduct when he had said on the
floor of the Lok Sabha, "I know these people (Bajrang Dal), they
will never do such a thing".
1.19. Shri George Fernandes, the union Defence Minister, emerges from
the entire episode as a pathetic character. While he no doubt visited
Gujarat immediately after the outbreak of the violence to oversee the
role of the Army, and for which he undoubtedly deserves appreciation,
it appears he learnt nothing from whatever he may have surveyed. Had he
done so, he would not have made the statement that he did in the Lok Sabha
on April 30. That statement not only added insult to the injury of those
brutalised by the pogrom but also undermined all human values.
a minister of his rank and a politician of his experience chooses to liken
the mass instances of gender violence (perpetrated against 150-200 women
and girls) and the subsequent slaughter of most of them, as "nothing
new", it is sufficient indication of the seriousness with which the
whole carnage was looked upon by the central government. His attempt at
whitewashing his statement at a later stage made things even worse.
1.20. As the union law minister, it was expected Shri Arun Jaitley would
have more respect for the rule of law than Shri Modi. Instead, he showed
complete disregard for the basic human rights of innocent men, women,
and children who fell victim to the carnage. He patted Shri Modi's back,
the man who was the root cause of the massacre of humanity in the stare
of Gujarat. His attitude was and is sufficiently representative of the
view and attitude of the central government to the entire incident.
1.21. In short, the inaction on the part of the central government and
the utterances of its spokesmen occupying responsible positions show that
not only had the central government failed in its duty but it also had
no intention to discharge it at all. Contrast this conduct of the central
government with its prompt action after the Akshardham Mandir massacre.
This only shows that if the central government intended to take action,
it could have done so. The fact that the central government failed in
its constitutional obligations during the post-Godhra carnage is indisputable.
In the event of any international authority also indicting the state government,
which we believe to be inevitable, the central government will have to
bear a major share of the blame and will be liable for censure.
Failure of Criminal Justice System
The evidence shows that the investigation process was totally inactive,
was no recording of complaints made by effaced persons, even while the
incidents were taking place.
were recorded after several days.
the recorded FIRs contained incorrect versions and not the versions
as reported by the complainants.
names of the culprits, even when disclosed, were not recorded.
fact, the complainants were told not to name the accused, otherwise
the complaints would not be recorded.
FIRs of individual victims were not recorded and omnibus complaints
containing several incidents were recorded, which would deny proper
investigation and stall the delivery of criminal justice.
many cases, the panchnaamaas of the scenes of offence have not been
made. The forensic evidence has not been collected.
leaders of the mob violence have not yet been arrested.
police participated in the violence and, in spite of clear and well-documented
evidence against the police, no policeman has been prosecuted or proceeded
and seizure of weapons and looted material have not been effected at
all, despite direct evidence of armed mobs committing the crimes.
of the prosecutors who are in charge of these cases owe allegiance to
the organisations perpetrating the crimes, with the result that the
victims have no confidence in the due process of law.
the evidence recorded, many persons, politicians and officials among
others, have been repeatedly mentioned by witnesses, as directly taking
part and inflicting violence on innocent victims and also leading.
of Public Space - Hospitals
of the most disturbing and sinister truths about some prominent master-minds
behind the Gujarat carnage was the fact that many of than hailed from
the medical profession and, despite their professional allegiance to the
Hippocratic oath, violated it to lead mobs to rape, pillage, maim and
kill and that to, in the most barbaric ways. Dr. Parveen Togadia, Dr.
Jaideep Patel, Dr. Amita Patel and Dr. Bhartibehn, Dr. Maya Kotdani (the
latter three are BJP MLAs) are all doctors by profession who were named
by victims as masterminds and leaders in brutal crimes.
Dr. Praveen Togadia, international general secretary of the VHP, is well-known
for his frequent threats of hatred and violence. He is a cancer surgeon
by profession and also owns the Dhanvantri Hospital at India Colony, Ahmedabad.
Doctors belonging to the Muslim minority testified to the fact that, on
February 28, Shri Togadia had put in an adslide of his, which was telecast
on Citi Cable in Ahmedabad city, asking all doctors and nurses to report
to his hospital. He was making this appeal to all doctors.
witnesses who deposed before us raised the question of whether this was
also part of a master plan, To keep, through threats and warnings, Hindu
doctors away from Muslim-run hospitals.
Justice AP Ravani spoke of his personal acquaintance and knowledge of
(Hindu) doctors being threatened and told (by the VHP) not to treat Muslims.
He knew of one doctor in the Shahibag area who must have attended to 17-20
deliveries for women staying in camps. The doctor was personally threatened
by Shri Togadia himself, "Stop this, otherwise consequences will
not be good". Other doctors have also confided to Justice Ravani
saying they too had received similar threats.
The 'borders' drawn within Ahmedabad have ensured a severely ghettoised
existence. This has been an unfortunate fact for the past three decades
and it has had serious implications for inter-community interaction and
relations. In the recent state sponsored genocide, it was used cleverly
by large, well-organised and well-armed mobs numbering several thousand,
through bloodshed, violence and intimidation, to restrict the passage
of ambulances from the inner, old city to either the Vadilal Sarabhai
(VS) Hospital or the Sola Civil Hospital. This was another cruel method
of preventing victims from receiving urgent medical attention.
At least six injured persons rescued from Chamanpura (Gulberg society),
testified before the Tribunal confirming that the VS Hospital had refused
them treatment, demanding that a police statement be obtained first. This,
from a group of persons who had been brutalised and traumatised, having
been witness to 60-70 of their close relations or neighbours stripped,
raped, cut into pieces, and burnt alive.
One eyewitness from Jamalpur stated, "The worst conduct was at the
Sola Civil Hospital.
Here Bharti behn and Anita behn, both BJP corporators (Bharti behn is
from Mani Nagar), were actually telling doctors whom to treat or not to
treat". At the VS Hospital, which gave more access to the minorities
initially due to the presence of Congress corporators on the hospital's
managerial board, there were attempts to deny treatment to Muslims that
were not entirely successful.
no incident can typify the extent of communalization of hospitals more
than the brutal murder of a Muslim who had brought a severely injured
person to the VS Hospital by ambulance on May 7, while the Tribunal sat.
The youth was stabbed when he alighted from an ambulance carrying a patient
who had been stabbed in the Juhapura locality. The assailants were: Sangha
Parivar activists who were demonstrating against the alleged "partisan
attitude" of the hospital authorities against Hindu patients. It
appears that these were well-organised and coordinated efforts to deny
medical aid to the Muslim community. Since most of the Muslims, dead or
injured, were being taken to VS Hospital, it was made the target of the
mobs. Muslim drivers would be so scared that they would refuse to go there.
In 1992 this sense of fear did not prevail within hospitals.
Though initially the injured were not attacked while in hospital, there
was enormous psychological fear. Hence, victim-survivors started going
to small hospitals, which had neither adequate facilities nor staff. "They
never struck the victims, they merely showed us the swords, but it was
enough to frighten us" said Sharief Khan Pathan of the Nobel Ambulance
Gujarat government is culpable of failure to protect the lives of at least
2,000 victims. It is also guilty of failure to provide medical aid and
relief to victim-survivors in life-threatening situations.
To allow the space occupied by doctors and hospitals, which are sacred
by sheer nature of the job they do, to be vitiated by hate speech and
propaganda sounds a serious warning to the extent of percolation of communal
ideology in Gujarat.
The fact that many leaders and perpetrators of the crimes are doctors
surely behoves upon the Indian Medical Association to initiate disciplinary
action against them for never can the mandate of a doctor, who's first
job is to save and preserve life, become exactly the opposite - of being
the one to snatch life away.
Recommendations Long Term
1. National Crimes Tribunal
1.1. A Standing National Crimes Tribunal be established, forthwith,
to deal with all cases of,
- Crimes against humanity, pogroms,
- Offences in the nature of genocide,
- Cases of mass violence and genocide,
- Cases of riots and incidents where there is large-scale destruction
of lives and property, including caste, religious, linguistic, regional,
ethnic and racial violence.
A suitable Statute should be enacted for the purpose by Parliament
The Standing National Crimes Tribunal (SNCT) should be an independent
body, the personnel of which should be selected by a committee consisting
of the Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minister of India and the Leader
of the Opposition in Parliament. Persons with legal and judicial background
should be appointed on the Tribunal for a fixed tenure of not less than
The members of the SNCT should lie free to follow such procedure as
they may find fit notwithstanding the provisions of any other law.
The SNCT should have the power to investigate offences through its own
investigating agency, created for the purpose. The SNCT' should have,
for its independent use, a special investigating and enforcing agency.
SNCT should take cognisance of. mass crimes as soon as they occur. Once
the cognisance of such crimes is taken, no court should have the power
to deal with them. The SNCT should dispose of these cases within a fixed
The SNCT should have the power to arrest, try, and punish the accused,
as well as to compensate, and rehabilitate the victims and their dependents.
Jurisdiction, Admissibility and Applicable law:
the purpose of the statute to be enacted, "mass violence and genocide"
should mean, as it does in the International Convention on prevention
and punishment of the crime of genocide, any of the following acts committed
with intent to destroy in whole or in part an ethnic, racial, caste
or religious group:
Killing members of the group;
serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
inflicting on the group, conditions of life calculated to bring about
its physical destruction in whole or in part;
measures intended to prevent to births within the group;
transferring children of the group to another group.
addition, the following acts should also be punishable under the proposed
Conspiracy to commit genocide;
Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
Attempt to commit genocide;
Complicity in genocide.
Crimes Against Humanity
2.1. Within the definition o f crime that fall under the definition
of crimes against humanity, sexual crimes against women should lie recognised
as crimes against humanity. Sexual crimes should not include only rape
in the conventional sense; but should also include sexual slavery, debasing,
enforced pregnancy, enforced sterilisation, forcible insertion of any
object into the vagina. The definition of crimes against humanity should
also include attacks on the lives and dignity of a section of the people,
attempted or actual obliteration of a section of the people, economic
annihilation of a targeted section, us well as their religious and cultural
3.1. The definition of rape and sexual assault under the new statute
should recognise that it cannot be restricted to the act, or the proof,
of the penis forcibly entering a woman's vagina. Any object used to abuse
a woman's body, and even verbal assault should be considered a part of
the same crime.
present laws of evidence and procedures invoke medical examination of
the victim as well as of the accused, as proof of such an assault. In
situations such an that of mass rapes and gang rapes during the recent
violence in Gujarat, this is an impossibility because in some cases, where
the victims have fled for days on end if they have survived the assault
at all, or where the police has refused to file any complaints, or have
deliberately filed incorrect complaints, no accused may be apprehended.
It is important that the onus of proof, in all such cases of mass and
gang rapes, should rest on the accused and the victims should not he burdened
with proof of the crime. The testimonies of the witnesses, in cases where
women have been burnt or killed, have to lie given due weight as those
of the victims themselves.
3.2. In most cases the accused might unknown, or due to the presence
of a large number of people, it may be difficult to identify the persons
involved directly in the crime. In such situations, the state has to be
held responsible for the crime, for not protecting its citizens. The persons
holding responsible offices must be made accountable for the same.
3.3. The concept of justice has to be widened in such cases. It
must dent, not only with the punishment of those found guilty of the crime,
but should also consider reparation for the women who suffered physical
and mental injuries, since such assaults further curtail women's rights
to be a part of mainstream social life, besides inflicting a damning long
term impact on the coming generation. Precisely for this failure to protect
the basic human rights of these citizens, the state has to provide reparation.
Financial reparations are no doubt extremely important, but ought not
to be seen as full compensation. Since all individual women are not in
a position to register their complaints, reparation should be provided
to all women of the affected community.
3.4. Women and witnesses who have come forward to give testimonies
should be given adequate protection by the SNCT, holding the state and
the offenders responsible and punishable for any harm that may be caused
4. Justice And The Judiciary
4.1. The near collapse of the criminal justice system in our country
has made the deliverance of justice an exception rather than the rule.
It is a painful reality and has to be acknowledged by all. Hence, when
situations like the Gujarat carnage/genocide occur, where mass scale violence
takes place, it is unrealistic to expect prompt justice from the present
system. It has, therefore, become necessary to suggest a mechanism such
as the SNCT above, with special composition, status, power and procedure.
Section 11 of the UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims
of Crime and Abuse of Power, 1985 envisages such a tribunal.
5.1. The Tribunal therefore recommends that all necessary steps
including seeking direction from the Supreme Court and making a statutory
recommendation to the government of India to
(i) appoint such a tribunal for fixing the responsibility for acts and
omissions of officials and the political executive in the Gujarat carnage
of February-March 2002, and to ensure that persons found derelict make
restitution and reparation, and to ensure compensation for all sufferers
in the violence
(ii) enact a law on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,
Such a comprehensive law on riots and disorders should take info consideration
detailed recommendations made by the National Police Commission, the
NHRC and the NCM.
6.1 A long Term and systematic plan should he worked out by the
civic and town planning administrations in urban centres in Gujarat, with
the assistance of the housing hoards and housing financing authorities,
to actively break the aggressive, violent and enforced ghenttoisation
of Gujarat's cities, especially Ahmedabad, Vadodara and the like. This
can be ensured with adequate political and moral will, committed to the
belief that enforced ghenttoisation makes communities more vulnerable
as target groups for mass violence and also actively prevents healthy
inter- action that breeds tolerance between communities.
The municipal authorities and the housing boards of cities in the state
need to prepare plans that encourage mixed, inter-religious, inter-caste
housing. This is vital for the future health of all sections of the population.
6.2. Provision of alternative housing to those who are not in a
position to return to their old homes, and the formation of mohalla communities,
to rebuild trust in mixed neighbourhoods, will also go a long way in the
direction of rehabilitation.
6.3. Dissemination of accurate information about the Muslim community,
including their comparative socio-economic development indices, statistics
on bigamy etc., in an easily understandable form, will have help prevent
false propaganda against them.
6.4. Dissemination of information on the history of the struggle
for independence, and the part played by the different communities, classes
and tribes in the freedom struggle, will increase awareness about the
contribution of all communities to the building of India as a nation and
their deep interdependence on one another.
6.5. Recruitment of a non-partisan, gender-sensitive police force
and bureaucracy, by building gender sensitivity and impartiality indicators
into the selection process and following it up with periodic training
programmes, is a must and must be followed strictly.
7.1. Recommendations made by the National Police Commission (1979-81),
in order to establish the autonomy of the police and free it from undue
political control, should be accepted and implemented immediately, especially
in relation to:
the setting up of a composite State Security Commission to deal with,
among other things, the selection of the police chief, to ensure his
autonomy, independence und professional functioning, and to confer on
him the fixity of tenure to remove fear of punitive transfer and to
empower him to act within the ambit of his statutory authority;
the evaluation of the performance of the police and receipt of complaints
from police officials about illegal and irregular orders from above;
recasting the Police Act of 1861.
An independent Police Complaints Authority should be created, on the lines
of the British model, to hear complains from the public against police
misbehavior. In the recent violent incidents in Gujarat, a large number
of complaints about human rights violations by the police had to be registered
with the very same police authorities who had committed the violations
in the first place, creating a very bizarre situation. The creation of
an Independent Police Complaints Authority is essential to obviate such
a situation in the future.
7.3. The Tribunal is of the view that it is the urgent need of
the hour that law-enforcement be made impartial, effective and humane.
For impartial law-enforcement, the functioning of the police must be independent
of political direction and interference. Courses on human rights, the
eradication of caste and communal prejudices, and humane riot control
methods should be included in the training programme for police and other
law-enforcement agencies. Training of police personnel on the especially
sensitive matter of dealing with communal violence is also necessary.
exanimation of video footage of telecasts by local TV channels as well
as of police videos, should become mandatory, to identify and prosecute
those found guilty of making provocative speeches/statements and indulging
in acts of violence.
7.4. The social composition of all law-enforcement agencies should
be diverse, wherein the presence of at least 25 percent of the personnel
from among the minorities and women should be ensured. For this purpose,
a study should be undertaken to assets the present representation of these
categories in the police and the deficiency should lie made up.
7.5. Recommendations of the Committee on Police Training, 1972,
should be implemented, especially in relation to social justice and attitudinal
reorientation of the police through appropriate training on social justice
7.6. The need for the existence of centralised All India Services,
such as the IAS and the IPS, should he examined in the light of increasing
democratic decentralisation in the country. An Administrative Reforms
Commission with a comprehensive mandate, should be set up to examine a
gamut of issues that arise in this connection.
7.7. Official and NGO inquiries and investigative reporting by eminent
persons have noted the partisan role of the police during riots. These
reports include those of the Justice Madon Commission (1970), National
Police Commission (1981), studies by Shri NC Saxena (1983) and Shri VN
Rai (1996), and Finally, by the Justice Shrikrishna Commission on the
Mumbai riots (1992-93)
The extremely partisan role of The law-enforcement agencies has been generally
attributed to the following four factors:
A culture of governance which makes the police function as a subordinate
body, carrying out orders and directions of the political executive.
-- Deeply entrenched communal prejudices in the minds of a section of
officials and police personnel.
-- Social composition of the police and of the other wings of the law-enforcement
and criminal justice system, wherein minorities are persistently under-represented.
-- Lack of training in humane and effective mob control by the police.
This is a state of affairs that needs to be rectified and rectified
quickly. The Tribunal notes with anguish and concern that no political
party has ever paid heed to the urgent need for radical police reforms.
The Tribunal recommends that this be a matter that is debated and legislated
upon with the utmost urgency. Let it not happen that more carnages take
place and are condoned by the political class, simply because they lack
the moral courage to initiate and push for an independent police authority
in the country.
Legal provisions must be enacted to ensure restitution of rights and compensation
to sufferers/victims of the riots. (The rationale and modalities for taking
these measures have been discussed in the National Commission on Minorities
Report on Communal Riots: Prevention & Control (1999).)
8. Civil Society
8.1. Joint forums of all social groups - castes, religions, etc.
- should be created to discuss, debate and deliberated upon all matters
of common concern.
8.2. Common festivals und festivities should be organised not only
on national occasions but also to celebrate the special occasions of all
8.3. Discourses should be held to educate people on the merits
of each religion and the denigration of any religion should he statutorily
banned and made punishable.
8.4. Mixed localities, housing complexes, housing societies, clubs,
educational and recreational institutions should lie promoted and social
intercourse and interactions including voluntary inter-caste, inter-religious
marriages should be encouraged