Published On:04 July 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

ANALYSIS: Traces of Gujarat anti-Muslim genocide destroyed – Justice be Damned!!

The big question which remains unanswered is: were these extremely crucial records - that could ensure justice to thousands of riot victims - deliberately destroyed, writes IMO Bureau Chief (Gujarat) Abdul Hafiz Lakhani.

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

The Indian government, according to BBC, has destroyed the evidence of the Gujarat anti-Muslim violence of 2002 right in the middle of the investigations. Obviously, it wants to protect the culprits from charges of genocide.

The Gujarat violence was one of the bloodiest chapters in India’s history. Muslims were slaughtered like animals and it is outrageous that this happened under the watchful eye of the police that acted as a happy spectator. Indeed it was Chief Minister Narendra Modi who instigated violence and was directly responsible for the death of over 2000 innocent Muslims. In an affidavit to the Supreme Court an intelligence officer had testified that Modi had himself sanctioned the bloodletting.

It was 2002. Gujarat-the laboratory of Hindutva was turned into bloodbath.powerful politicians and some high ranking police officers who were saffronised iet loose the terror on Muslims. But the conspirators will never been known to the world as Gujarat's narendra Modi government shad destroyed all related evidence of this carnage.

Nine years and on, the victims of 2002 Godhra riots are still fighting for justice and to make the matter worse, crucial riot records including phone transactions, vehicle logbooks and official movements have been destroyed by the Modi government. The victims believe that the records have been deliberately destroyed.

The Gujarat government has destroyed crucial records pertaining to the 2002 riots. This comes from none other than the Narendra Modi government itself. SB Vakil, state government counsel in the Nanavati Commission, said important records like incoming and outgoing call data, log books of government vehicles and officials' movement have been destroyed.

And that IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is lying about being present in the meeting that Narendra Modi convened then, because he knows the official records no longer exist. “Records of incoming and outgoing phone calls, vehicle logbooks cannot be found,” said SB Vakil, State Government Counsel in Nanavati Commission.

People associated with the communal riot cases have expressed shock at the government's admission.

"Proceedings in all the key cases… The Naroda Gaam case, the main complaint by Zakia Jaffri and other cases are still on. To destroy evidence as important as this is not just shocking, but illegal as well," said Mukul Sinha,Advocate, Jansangharsh Manch.

It cannot be a standard procedure. You cannot destroy the relevant documents when the G. T. Nanavati – Akshay Mehta Judicial Enquiry Commission probing into the Godhra train carnage and the post-Godhra communal riots in the State is yet to submit its final report,” noted advocate, Mukul Sinha, who represent the riot victims before the Commission said.

According to him, the responsibility of deciding the “relevance of a document” was left to the prosecution, which was the State government in the case of the Nanavati – Mehta commission, and it could not have overlooked the relevance of the telephone call register, police vehicle log books and the police movement diary for the Enquiry Commission to be destroyed before the probe panel completed its task.

The retired Gujarat DGP Srrekumar alleged that the police, while following the "standard procedure" and destroying crucial documents, had overlooked the provisions of the Gujarat Police Manual as well as the Indian Penal Code. "The police manual clearly states that any document pertaining to a matter under judicial process shall have to be preserved until the completion of the judicial process," he said, adding that the Supreme Court had been looking into the riots since April 2002, after activist Mallika Sarabhai and the National Human Rights Commission filed a PIL in that connection.

"The Gujarat government has been translating its electoral majority into immunity from legal bindings. This is a dangerous trend," Shreekumar said. He rued that allegations against the high and mighty of the state polity as well as the police department may never be proved, now that the key documents had been destroyed.

Shreekumar had maintained a diary of his own during his tenure as state intelligence chief and had submitted it before the Nanavati-Mehta panel as well as the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). The diary had the number of key records, but the originals are now destroyed.

Shreekumar observed that the state government had given him a chargesheet for not handing over his semi-official diary when he relinquished his post as the intelligence chief. The chargesheet was later quashed by the Gujarat High Court. "Had I submitted the diary then, they would have surely destroyed it as well," he said. The diary forms the basis of Shreekumar's affidavits, which have significantly embarrassed the state government as they establish the collusion between BJP leaders and the police at the time of the riots.

“The State government is telling a lie that the documents have been destroyed as per the standard procedure,” Hiralal Gupta, the advocate for the Congress before the commission, alleged. He agreed that a rule existed to destroy “irrelevant police documents” after five years as claimed by the State government pleader before the Commission, S. B. Vakil, but the documents in question were not such “irrelevant documents” to be destroyed taking recourse to the “standard procedure.”

“The government is deliberately trying to hide the truth about Chief Minister Narendra Modi's “instructions” to the police to go soft on the Hindus during the 2002 communal riots for which it is now claiming that the records have been destroyed,” Mr. Gupta said.

Fr. Cedric Prakash; Director of Prashant, A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace reacted that the admission by the Government of Gujarat that all records and intelligence reports pertaining to the Gujarat Carnage of 2002 have been destroyed, should shock no one! This admission before the Nanavati Commission clearly shows the culpability of the Gujarat Government.

The reasoning that these reports were destroyed “according to rules”, defies all logic. Technically (“according to rules”) given the time it takes, for judgement to be pronounced in our country, practically no justice would see the light of the day, if criminals / conspirators whose cases are pending in the various Courts are allowed to destroy evidence.

The judiciary of our country should now expedite the legal process, take ‘suo moto’ notice of this and hold the Gujarat Government (as is widely believed) responsible for the Carnage of 2002, he said in a statement

Vadodara based social activist Dr. Bandukwala said in a statement that This is a serious matter. The court should look into this matter. it seems that Modi wants to prevent justice to 2002 riot victims.

Ahmedabad Based NGO--Sanchetna's director Hanif Lakadawala reacted sharply that it is a deliberate, criminal act to destroy the evidence. By saying that it is a routine procedure, the state cannot exonerate itself of the criminal act.

By summarily destroying the record of his crimes, Modi has not just mocked and taunted those who have tried to bring justice to his victims, he has ridiculed India’s claim to being a secular democracy that believes in justice and equality of all before law.
Modi is not merely guilty of mocking and trampling on the rule of law, he has heaped shame and abuse on the nation’s secular and democratic institutions and their ability to administer justice to all sections of society.

The state government's explanation is that this was done as part of a procedure to destroy 'irrelevant police documents' after five years. Yet, the reported list of what was destroyed - telephone records of the police control room, registers of attendance and movement of senior police officers and vehicles as well as intelligence reports et al - suggests it was crucial evidence about the riots and how the state machinery conducted itself. If this elimination of evidence was deliberate, it would mean a criminal attempt to shield officials who might be guilty of inaction or, worse, complicity in a veritable slaughter.

The larger question is whether directions to conduct themselves thus were issued to police officers from the top levels of the state machinery. Finding answers to those questions should be the primary aim of investigations into the riots. Not only should the Nanavati Commission probing the riots order an inquiry into this reported destruction of evidence, but the Supreme Court too, since it is directly supervising the investigations through its appointed Special Investigation Team ( SIT )), must act forthwith to probe and punish the culprits.

The immediate worry is how on earth documents and records pertaining to an ongoing investigation, under the supervision of the highest court in the land, can be thus destroyed. But that also posits the larger question the nation faced after the 2002 riots: how to deal with a situation where the entire machinery of a state can be seen to be potentially complicit in acts of communal violence? If existing laws aren't being implemented, or are just being plainly subverted, what course can justice take? Part of the answer would lie in enacting laws as proposed in the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011. Justice and compensation for victims of all forms of communal violence, and actually aiming at eliminating the latter altogether, are critical to preserve the very idea of a democratic and pluralistic India.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on July 04, 2011. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on July 04, 2011. Filed under , , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

1 comments for "ANALYSIS: Traces of Gujarat anti-Muslim genocide destroyed – Justice be Damned!!"

  1. if you kill one Hindu then we must survive our self by killing thousands of Muslim every day..

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